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Off the cuff: Nate Britt seemed to be the only Tar Heel who came to play in the loss at Georgia Tech. He scored 13 points, including three triples, and picked off five steals.

While Jackson scored 16, he missed all five of his three-point attempts and was only six of 17 from the field.

Joel Berry turned the ball over six times. Kenny Williams was just one of seven from the field.

A disappointing effort. Not a good day.

Georgia Tech 75, Tar Heels 63
UNC takes step back in ACC opener

North Carolina had everything going for it. The Tar Heels were coming off a big second half against Northern Iowa. They were playing a team that some prognosticators said would not win an ACC game this season. And they were playing in Atlanta when the Georgia Tech students were out on Christmas break or paying more attention to the football team's bowl game. (12/31)

Still, Carolina found a way to lose. Ahead by three with 13 minutes to play, the Tar Heels were outscored 33-18 down the stretch to fall 75-63 in the first ACC game of the season.

The Tar Heels let the Yellow Jackets stay in the game in the first half by shooting just 33 percent and turning the ball over 13 times.

But UNC held a 32-29 lead at the half and were also ahead by three at 45-42 following a tough turn around jumper by Isaiah Hicks with 13 minutes to go.

Georgia Tech went on a 15-5 run, fueled most by free throws, that put the Jackets up 57-50 with 5:20 to go. Carolina never got it closer than four as GT worked the margin up to 14 before settling for the win by a dozen.

The cold-shooting Tar Heels also turned the ball over 20 times en route to the unexpected loss.

UNC coach Roy Williams said his team took too many outside shots to start the game. As the shots failed to fall, Georgia Tech got more confident while his team got tight, he said.

He said the Jackets were more aggressive, quicker and more enthusiastic.

While most thought Carolina would have the upper hand down low, Georgia Tech actually outscored Carolina 30-28 in the paint. From outside the Heels weren't any better as Berry hit only three of the 13 shots he took.

Justin Jackson (18) and Nate Britt (13) were the only Tar Heels in double figures.

Georgia Tech, 9-4 and 1-0 in the ACC, had four players in double figures led by Josh Okogie's 26 points.

Carolina, which falls to 12-3 and 0-1 in the league, have a tough assignment at Clemson Tuesday night.

Box Score

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