Tech blown out by fired-up Tar Heels

Not that it’s ever a good time to face North Carolina at the Dean Dome for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, but Saturday certainly didn’t qualify.

The Tar Heels were coming off an emotionally-charged overtime loss to rival Duke, their fourth loss in five games, and were playing at home for the first time since their legendary former coach Dean Smith died on Feb. 7.

Tech was little match for the emotionally charged Tar Heels, who broke out for an 89-60 win Saturday in front of a host of Smith’s former standout players in town for Smith’s public memorial service Sunday in the building named after him.

The Yellow Jackets have lost 10 of their past 11 games in Chapel Hill, and this time they were no match for North Carolina because of the offensive woes exposed in the four minutes of the second half.

Already down 14 at halftime, Tech’s offense went dark. Tech coach Brian Gregory called more timeouts (two) than Georgia Tech had shot attempts (0), while the Yellow Jackets committed five turnovers. By the time Charles Mitchell ended the drought with a shot attempt and a make with 16:21 left, Tech was down 23 points, 55-32. Georgia Tech managed only one field goal over the next six minutes.

Marcus Georges-Hunt was the Yellow Jacket’s best and only consistent source of offense, scoring 11 of his 15 points in the first half. He converted a 3-point play and hitting his first two 3-point attempts in the first half. Quinton Stephens was Tech’s next best thing, chipping in 10 points off the bench.

For North Carolina, Marcus Paige led the charge for making amends following the Duke loss. Paige was coming off a 2-for-11 shooting night against Duke, with only three assists and two turnovers. On Saturday, Paige was the instigator, with 10 assists and no turnovers to go with 13 points.