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Off the cuff: Leslie McDonald better hope there's still a place for him on this Carolina team when he comes back after six games without playing. He missed three games with a knee injury and now that he's healthy, he has been suspended for three games for breaking a team rule related to academics.

Carolina is on a bit of a roll without McDonald after getting the third win in a row to move to 3-2 in the ACC.

Bullock and Hairston are becoming more consistent from long range, which is where McDonald had been needed.

Freshman JP Tokoto (eight points against Georgia Tech) and sophomore Desmond Hubert (five blocked shots) have been getting more comfortable.

Jackson Simmons (eight points), Joel James (no turnovers) and Brice Johnson (five rebounds) are averaing about 10-12 minutes a game.

Ten Tar Heels got significant playing time against Georgia Tech. Where does McDonald fit in when he gets back? Right now I don't see him getting more than 10 minutes a game unless Hairston or Bullock are cold or in foul trouble.


Tar Heels 79, Georgia Tech 63
Carolina never trails; cruises by Jackets

North Carolina led by as many as 13 points in the first half and 19 points in the second half as the Tar Heels never trailed en route to a 79-63 win at home over Georgia Tech. (1/23)

A 10-2 run midway through the first half put the Heels up 30-17. The run was highlighted by a nifty Dexter Strickland pass to James Michael McAdoo for a dunk and a three from the top of the key by Reggie Bullock.

Bullock led the Tar Heels with 17 points, including nine in the first half.

After leading 40-32 at the half, Carolina quickly got the lead up to 15 at 49-34 during the first two and a half minutes of the second half. A Strickland fastbreak layup and a Marcus Paige to Bullock fastbreak layup highlighted the 9-2 run.

It never got closer than 11 after that despite a rough patch where the Tar Heels turned the ball over five times in six possessions.

A pair of power dunks gave the Tar Heels their biggest lead at 72-53 with just over four minutes left. A Strickland steal and pass to P.J. Hairston who dunked it over a defender with a slashing motion. Then, J.P. Tokoto followed his own miss with a slam.

Hairston with 15 points and McAdoo with 14 were the other Tar Heels in double figures. Neither team shot particularly well as the Heels shot 43 percent while the Yellow Jackets shot just 36 percent.

Carolina blocked 10 Georgia Tech shots as the Heels committed only eight personal fouls on the night.

"We are close to being a good basketball team," said UNC coach Roy Williams, who went on to say, "The best news is that we can get a lot better."

The Tar Heels, 13-5 overall, improved to 3-2 in the ACC to tie Duke, who were swamped by Miami earlier in the evening, for third place in the conference. Georgia Tech fell to 10-7 and 0-5 in the league.

Carolina travels to ACC favorite N.C. State Saturday at 7 p.m.


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