North Carolina had some difficulties getting there, but they did arrive in time in Atlanta to play the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. North Carolina won the tip-off and got on the board quick, but Georgia Tech didn’t let them get to far. JP Tokoto and Leslie McDonald struggled early on with handling the possession of the ball, but Tokoto made an early defensive presence in the early minutes of the game.
[Recruiting: UNC Trio named to the McDonald's All-American Game]
After the early minutes of the game, the Tar Heels were able to take control of the game and extended their lead by as much nine points in the first half. A physical James Michael McAdoo and Brice Johnson were big contributors for UNC on offense early on.
After having a nine point lead, UNC allowed Georgia Tech to go on a 10-2 run in the final five minutes of the half. North Carolina would go into the locker room with just a 26-25 lead in a low scoring affair.
After a hot first half start, the Tar Heels would remain cold to start the second half. Poor defense and questionable calls kept the Yellow Jackets in the game going into the second half.
McAdoo and Tokoto would be called for three fouls – between the two of them – within 19 seconds. Both would be called for their 4th personal foul and would have to sit out with plenty of time left.
With the offense finally clicking, North Carolina finally got their nine point lead back with just over twelve minutes left in the game.
McAdoo would foul out in the closing minutes of the game. He scored 17 points and five rebounds.
Marcus Paige had a solid game after struggling in games past. He had 17 points too, but included five rebounds and seven assists.
For North Carolina, the biggest improvement was their free throw shooting. The Tar Heels have struggled all season long, but tonight just absolutely nailed it from the free throw line. North Carolina shot 71.4% from the foul line and ended the game with ten straight free throws made!
With a two game winning streak under their belt, UNC marches on to play in-state rivals North Carolina State. A win against the Wolfpack could definitely help turn the Tar Heels season around.