Game Wrap-Up: Heels do work at Georgia Tech’s new hive
As the above photo illustrates, this game was a mess. It was hard to ever tell who was in control, if anyone ever was.
The Heels have traditionally played awful in Atlanta. Combined the football and men’s basketball teams have gone 1-9 in the previous decade in Atlanta. Maybe the W last night in the new home for GT basketball means the times are changing. It was ugly but it’s a start.
- A 12-0 run in the second half was what ended up separating these two teams. Other than that this thing could have gone either way. Both teams shot under 40 percent from the field and that number was honestly higher than we expected. UNC performed exceptionally poor connecting on only 6-20 3-point attempts with only two of those coming from starters. The only shot they could seem to hit has James Michael McAdoo two feet away from the basket, and he still missed ten shots.
- You really couldn’t expect the 2012-2013 UNC Tar Heels to grind out a win on the road with defense. It did exactly that by forcing 19 turnovers and gobbling up 14 steals. Fourteen! It did get out-rebounded by five and had seven shots blocked. Did we mention this game was ugly? It it wasn’t for that 12-0 run UNC would have been in serious trouble. That run came between the 13:00 and 9:00 minute marks in the second half. After building up a 20-point lead North Carolina went into cruise control and started doing a lot of stupid things. You know how Michael Jordan said he’s never lost a game he’s just run out of time? UNC was basically ready to lose this by the end of the game, as evident by the final margin of victory. I guess it’s a win.
- P.J. Hairston finally came back down to Earth. He looked like the Hairston of last year but with more minutes, shooting 4-15 from the field and 1-7 from deep finishing with 10 points. He filled in the rest of the stat line admirably with 5 rebs, 2 asts and 3 stls however.
- Dexter Strickland and Marcus Paige also cooled off from a very hot Saturday against Virginia. The two combined for 12 points, or 17 less than last weekend. They did dish out 12 assists to only two turnovers, including zero TOs for Dexter increasing his ACC-leading assist-to-TO ratio.
- Was there anything good to take away from Tuesday besides a W? Well, the Tar Heels shot very well from the FT line. What? Free throw shooting and defense won us a game? Crazy, right? Paige led the charge hitting all eight of his attempts (all of his points) as the team connected on 82 percent of its freebies. North Carolina also had a halftime lead even though Reggie Bullock failed to score in the first half. Wait, is that a good thing?
- Player of the Game: JMM (22 pts, 11 rebs, 2 asts, 4 stls) A double-double in this type of game deserves recognition. His four steals also makeup for two turnovers, although that number might also be a season low.
- Spark plug of the Game: Leslie McDonald (15 pts, 2 rebs, 2 asts, 1 blk) For the second game in a row Leslie has had a solid game. He was the only Heel that could get any love from downtown going 4-6 from 3. Also, pardon our use of the term “spark plug.” It’s been a long day.
- Face-palm of the Game: PJ jacking up a desperation 3 as he thought the shot clock was expiring after a jump ball actually reset the 2-second shot clock back to its original 35.