Rapid Reaction: UNC 93, Georgia Tech 81
January, 29, 2012
By Robbi Pickeral | ESPN.com
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- A quick look at No. 8 North Carolina’s 93-81 win over Georgia Tech at the Smith Center on Sunday:
What it means: North Carolina under coach Roy Williams has had some problems against Georgia Tech in the past -- losing four straight, and eight of the 14 matchups entering Sunday’s game -- since he became coach in 2003. But not this time. The Tar Heels completely dismantled the Yellow Jackets, who are trying to rebuild under first-year coach Brian Gregory, in a game that wasn't as close as the final score .Tech has now lost five in a row, and nine of its last 10 games.
How it happened: The Tar Heels had made only 20 3-pointers, total, in their five previous ACC games this season (and were shooting only 24.7 percent from behind the arc). Against Tech, they made 10-of-16 (62.5 percent).
Three of their first four made shots were 3s, as they pulled away early. UNC led by as many as 24 points.
Harrison Barnes led UNC, which shot 54.1 percent overall, with 23 points. Point guard Kendall Marshall finished with 12 assists and a turnover, and forward Tyler Zeller chipped in 17 points.
Mfon Udofia led Tech with 16.
Number to know: With four blocks, UNC junior forward John Henson passed Sam Perkins (245) to move into second place all-time on the school swats list. Henson now has 247 blocks for his career; Brendan Haywood holds the top mark with 304. Henson also recorded 13 points and six rebounds Sunday.
Hubbub: To demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society, both coaching staffs wore sneakers rather than dress shoes as part of Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend. UNC’s players also wore hot pink Nikes, although Zeller and Barnes changed out of them at halftime.
Hubbub, Too: Williams picked up a rare technical foul early in the second half. It appeared he was none-too-happy about some contact Barnes was getting, and official Jamie Luckie was none-too-happy about how Williams voiced that unhappiness. The Tar Heels led by 17 at the time.
What’s next: UNC will play its third game in six days when it travels to face Wake Forest on Tuesday. Things don’t get any easier for Georgia Tech, as the Jackets will play at Florida State on Wednesday.
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.