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Off the cuff: In the old days, under Dean Smith, the Tar Heels were known for coming back in the second half and usually putting teams away down the stretch. Duke has been closer to that description lately than has North Carolina.

These Tar Heels have done a good job of getting on top early but it has to be concerning that Carolina has finished recent games with a whimper, this time against 8-14 Georgia Tech.

The first half was certainly as well as the Tar Heels have shot this year. Carolina was shooting just 25 percent of threes in ACC games and hadn't made more than five threes in an ACC game. On this day, the Heels hit 10 of 16 for 62.5 perecent. There really should be a good taste in the mouths of Tar Heel faithful. But Carolina had its 24-point lead cut in half in the second half. The Tar Heels scored just nine points in the last seven minutes and three points in the last four minutes.

Tar Heels 93, Georgia Tech 81
Heels blitz GT with 10 three pointers

North Carolina struck for 10 three-point baskets, including eight in the first half, as the Tar Heels raced out to a 20 point-lead and settled for a 93-81 win at home against Georgia Tech. (1/29) Click for a photo gallery.

Less than 10 minutes into the game, the Tar Heels led 23-12 after threes by Kendall Marshall, Harrison Barnes, Reggie Bullock (2) and Stilman White.

A step-back three by Barnes put the Heels up 38-23, the largest lead at the time. That basket started a 13-4 Carolina run that gave teh Heels their biggest lead of the first half at 48-27.

With the Heels up 52-32, it was all but over. UNC got it down to 15 early in the second half but Carolina quickly went on another 13-4 run. A P.J. Hairston three capped the run that gave the Heels their largest lead at 67-43.

Georgia Tech got hot offensively in the second half and outscored the Heels 18-9 in the last seven minutes to make the final score respectable.

Barnes, who finished three of three from beyond the arc, led all scorers with 23 points. Tyler Zeller added 17 points on a seven of nine showing from the field. John Henson, who had four blocks, had 13. Bullock rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11 points.

But it was Marshall, who started the three barrage in the first minute yet ended with only seven points, that was the engine that made the offense go. Marshall finished with 12 assists and only one turnover. He is averaging nearly 10 assists a game and ranks second nationally.

"The first half I was really pleased with about everything we did," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "Things looked easy early and that usually scares me to death but it's not easy the whole game."

Sure enough, Williams said, the Tar Heels didn't hold their focus in the second half. "We weren't bad offensively in the second half (just under 50 percent). We just couldn't stop Georgia Tech."

The Jackets shot 45.6 percent for the game including 45 percent from the three-point line. The Tar Heels finished at 54 percent, including 62.5 percent from beyond the three-point line.

Mfon Udofia scored 16 points to lead the Yellow Jackets (8-13, 1-6).

The Tar Heels, now 18-3 and 5-1 in the ACC, extended their school-record home winning streak to 31 games. Carolina travels to Wake Forest Tuesday night.


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