North Carolina wins at Georgia Tech 78-65
Marcus Paige scored all but two of his 19 points in the second half Wednesday, and James Michael McAdoo battled foul trouble to add 17 to lead North Carolina to a 78-65 win over Georgia Tech.
UNC (13-7, 3-4 ACC) pulled steadily away after leading just 26-25 at halftime, in a game played despite Atlanta being hit Tuesday evening by a snow/ice storm that grid-locked much of the region.
The injury-ravaged Yellow Jackets (11-10, 2-6) were led by Trae Golden with 21 points, 15 in the second half.
An ESPN2 telecast was cancelled because of the inability of ESPN's full production crew to reach the game site.
The Tar Heels had modest travel issues, and conditions Wednesday prompted the postponement of a NBA game between the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks in Philips Arena, less than two miles from Tech's McCamish Pavilion.
The ACC game policy dictates that the only reason a game should be postponed or cancelled is if the conditions affect the safety of the teams or game officials involved.
Provided the teams and officials are able to make it to the arena safely, games are to be played. The Tar Heels arrived in Atlanta late Tuesday, and although they had to take a mass transit train from the airport to near their hotel, they and three game officials were able to get to McCamish.
Attendance was estimated at about 3,500 as the Pavilion appeared to be filled roughly to one third of its capacity.
Foul trouble looked like it might become an issue for the Tar Heels early in the second half as starting forwards J.P. Tokoto and McAdoo picked up their fourth fouls, with 16:37 and 15:49 left in the game respectively.
North Carolina led 36-31 as McAdoo departed, however, and after the Yellow Jackets quickly cut the margin to two-points on a Golden 3-pointer, the visitors held steady and then re-built their edge.
Paige scored 11 of the Heels' next 22 points and gave them a 58-48 lead on a 3-pointer with 4:50 remaining.
It didn't help the Yellow Jackets that they went ice cold from distance, shooting just 3-for-13 on 3-point attempts. They also were just 15 for 26 from the free throw line in the game.
The Yellow Jackets closed the first half with a 10-2 run to trail just 26-25, and they had their defense — or the Tar Heels' frigid shooting touch — to thank.
McAdoo had eight points and five rebounds in the half, but the rest of the UNC roster shot just 8 for 30 (27 percent).
North Carolina leads the ACC in offensive rebounding, however, and the Heels grabbed 10 of their own missed shots over the first 20 minutes to earn 16 more shots than Tech (one offensive rebound).