Georgia Tech Stymies Carolina, Claims 2-1 Series Win

The No. 12 North Carolina baseball team dropped an ACC series to Georgia Tech 2-1 over the weekend to fall to 15-8 on the season and 5-4 in ACC play.

With the series victory, the Yellow Jackets improved to 15-9 on the year and 5-4 in conference action.

The Tar Heels survived an extra innings marathon Friday night with Trent Thornton on the mound to claim a 1-0 lead in the three-game set.

But Saturday’s doubleheader went the way of Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets edged the Tar Heels in a second straight extra innings contest before routing Carolina 9-1 in the nightcap to claim the series.

Freshman pitcher Zac Gallen struggled, giving up six runs to the Yellow Jacket lineup as the Tar Heel offense failed to produce any sort of offensive help of their own.

Next up for Carolina is a Wednesday meeting with Winthrop. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium.

Diamond Heels Meet Yellow Jackets for Three-Game Set in Chapel Hill

The No. 15 North Carolina baseball team, 14-6 on the season and 4-2 in conference, opens up a three-game ACC series with 13-8 Georgia Tech Friday at 5 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium.

The Tar Heels are coming off a rough 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Mountaineers of West Virginia Wednesday evening. Carolina will certainly be hoping to rebound against Georgia Tech when Trent Thornton takes the mound for Friday’s contest.

But the Yellow Jackets should present a formidable challenge, having won six of their last seven games. In addition, Georgia Tech has claimed a series win against UNC in four consecutive seasons.

North Carolina will look to reverse the recent slide to their ACC opponent this weekend, but the young Carolina bats will need to come alive if the Tar Heels want to do so.

UNC and Georgia Tech first met in 1901 and have played every season since the Yellow Jackets joined the ACC in 1980. The Tar Heels trail 56-70 in the all-time series.

No. 13 Tar Heels Fall To Yellow Jackets

ATLANTA– No. 13 North Carolina women’s basketball lost their third straight game Thursday night, falling to Georgia Tech 94-91 to drop to 17-6 overall and 5-4 in the ACC.

With the win, the Yellow Jackets improved to 15-8 on the season and 5-5 in conference play.

It was a back-and-forth affair that was littered with fouls. Both teams got into foul trouble in the second half with four Yellow Jackets picking up their fourth fouls, and UNC’s Danielle Butts and Diamond Deshields picking up their fourths.

Eventually, DeShields fouled out with 22 points and nine rebounds in her homecoming return to Atlanta, but Danielle Butts shouldered on, recording a career high in points with 20.

The Carolina defense struggled to contain the explosive Georgia Tech attack throughout the night.

But despite the struggles, Latifah Coleman got to the line with 6.3 seconds to play with a chance to tie the game at 92 points a piece with a a pair of foul shots. But she missed her first attempt to seal Carolina’s fate.

Next up for the Tar Heels is a Monday night showdown with No. 5 Duke.

Final Box Score

Tar Heel Women Look To Snap Losing Streak With Road Win

ATLANTA– After back-to-back losses, the No. 13 North Carolina women’s basketball team, 17-5 overall and 5-3 in conference play, will be hungry to get back on the winning track Thursday night at 7 p.m. when the Tar Heels go on the road to take on 14-8 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 4-5 in the ACC.

A season ago, the Tar Heels snapped a three-game losing streak to the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta with a tight 60-58 win.

Tar Heel stars Diamond DeShields and Allisha Gray both hail from Georgia and will no doubt be looking to put on a show in their homecomings.

Georgia Tech picked up a 77-66 win at Pittsburgh last time out on Monday Freshman standout Kaela Davis registered her fifth double-double of the season.

With a big rivalry game against Duke up next, UNC will want to tune-up with a victory. Carolina plays at No. 5 Duke on Monday at 7 p.m.

Carolina Men’s Basketball Overcomes Obstacles, Grabs First ACC Road Victory 78-65

ATLANTA– The North Carolina men’s basketball team survived treacherous wintry conditions, serious foul trouble, and some sloppy play to down Georgia Tech 78-65 and improve to 13-7 overall and 3-4 in the ACC with the first road conference win of the season.

***Listen to the story***

With the loss, Georgia Tech fell to 11-10 overall on the season and 2-6 in conference action. The win was a rare one for the Tar Heels in recent times at Georgia Tech. Entering the contest, UNC had dropped five of its last seven games against the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta.

Marcus Paige saved his best play for the second half, scoring all but two of his 17 points for the closing 20 minutes of action. James Michael McAdoo had a solid night on the hardwood with 17 points despite his limited minutes while Kennedy Meeks came oh so close to a double-double with nine points and ten rebounds.

“To me it’s the whole key of a good basketball team, can you play with a great sense of urgency? I think we did on Saturday, and I think we did for the second half today, but we did not for the first half,” Head Coach Roy Williams said after the game.

***Listen to Head Coach Roy Williams’ postgame press conference***

The 13-6 offensive rebounding advantage for the Tar Heels aided in the victory, but McAdoo and J.P. Tokoto had racked up four fouls each by the 15:59 mark in the second half to present some challenges to the visiting Carolina squad.

“I there was a much greater sense of urgency on our guys because James Michael [McAdoo] and J.P. [Tokoto] both were sitting over there. With two of them over there sitting on the bench, I think everybody understood and raised their level of play a little bit,” Coach Williams said.

Georgia Tech’s Trae Golden led the scoring charge for the Yellow Jackets with 21 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the determined play of Carolina.

McAdoo won the opening tip for the Tar Heels, and he wasted no time scoring the first points of the game to give the lead to visiting UNC.  Meeks followed that up with a 15-point jumper that found the nets to give Carolina a quick 4-0 lead.

Georgia Tech answered with a make of its own to close the gap to a pair of points with 18 minutes to play in the first half. Paige delivered a beautiful pass to Leslie McDonald in transition to stake Carolina out to a 6-4 advantage with 16:34 on the first half clock.

***Listen to the call by the Tar Heel Sports Network’s Jones Angell and Eric Montross***

McDonald missed an open three-pointer badly off the backboard, but a defensive block by Meeks on the other end provided a Tar Heel lift that Paige converted on, and at the first timeout of the game at the 15:12 mark, the Tar Heels were leading the Yellow Jackets 8-6.

Some sloppy play ensued by both squads that included kicked balls, missed passes and fumbled exchanges in a prolonged period of no scoring. Georgia Tech’s Georges-Hunt ended the drought with a strong slam that was then quickly followed by a score by UNC’s Brice Johnson to place the score at 10-8 in favor of the Tar Heels with 12:40 to go in the opening half.

McDonald buried a three-pointer to give Carolina the 13-10 lead at the 11:57 mark. On a later possession, Johnson couldn’t hang on to a nice pass by Meeks inside, and the ball was swatted away by a swarm of Yellow Jacket defenders.

Daniel Miller was getting the hot hand for Georgia Tech. He sunk a deep jumper to give the home team their first lead at 14-13 with 9:46 on the first half clock. But a long-range two-pointer slid through the basket for McAdoo to reclaim the lead for the Tar Heels.

Paige eyeing the floor (Photo courtesy of UNC Athletic Communications)

Paige eyeing the floor (Photo courtesy of UNC Athletic Communications)

An over-the-top pass from McDonald set up an easy score for McAdoo to extend the UNC gap. On the other end of the floor, the defensive intensity for the Tar Heels was evident in the first half.

Georgia Tech’s sloppy play included 6 turnovers with 5:30 to go in the first half. The Tar Heels were taking full advantage with a 21-15 lead.

A couple quick fouls on UNC allowed Georgia Tech to get to the free throw line and trim the lead down to 24-18 with 3:56 to play in the first half. Following a timeout, Georgia Tech scored on a running coast-to-coast play to narrow the margin down to four points.

Trae Golden ignited the Yellow Jacket crowd by sniping a three-pointer to cut the Tar Heel lead down to a mere three points at 26-23 with under a minute left in the half. A careless foul by Johnson sent Golden to the line for three foul shots. He made two.

At the break, Carolina held a slim 26-25 edge over Georgia Tech after a 10-2 run by the Yellow Jackets.

UNC attempted 17 more shots than Georgia Tech in the first half, but they just weren’t falling as the Tar Heels shot 30 percent from the field while the Yellow Jackets made 46 percent of their attempts.

UNC’s starting perimeter trio of Paige, McDonald and Tokoto went 4-19 from the floor and only managed to make one three-point attempt.

The second half got underway with some Carolina energy. A pair of scores staked UNC out to a 30-26 lead with 18:59 to go in the contest. McAdoo earned a trip to the foul line to inch the lead out to five soon after.

Yellow Jacket Miller broke his long scoring drought to push his nightly total up to ten and trim the Carolina lead back down to three. Meeks answered right back with another made jump shot.

Carolina led 36-31 when Tokoto hit the bench after picking up his fourth foul of the game. With 15:49 to go, McAdoo committed his fourth foul to push UNC into deep trouble with two of their stronger players sitting out so early in the second half.

Georgia Tech cut the lead down to two points before a timely Paige three-pointer fell through the nets to establish a more comfortable advantage yet again.

***Listen to the call***

Coach Williams soon became furious with the McDonald mistakes, and he promptly took him off the court.

A stern Coach Williams looks on (Photo courtesy of UNC Athletic Communications)

A stern Coach Williams looks on (Photo courtesy of UNC Athletic Communications)

Johnson picked up another score to match the largest lead of the night for the Tar Heels at nine points. With 11:47 remaining in the second half, Carolina held the 45-36 lead. The Tar Heels were shooting an incredible 73 percent at that stage.

McDonald popped a three-pointer midway through the second half as the offensively challenged Yellow Jackets continued to struggle. With 7:59 to play, UNC maintained a 48-40 cushion.

Georgia Tech’s Miller continued to keep his team in the contest with tenacious play. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit than felt like more than it was due to the physical, grind-it-out style of the game.

The balanced attack continued for UNC with Paige, McDonald and Meeks all contributing. A ten-point lead for Car0lina at 58-48 at the five-minute mark was enough for Carolina to hold on for the vital 78-65 road victory with some clutch free throws down the stretch by Nate Britt, McDonald and McAdoo.

You can view a game photo gallery right here.

Final Box Score

ATL Bound: Tar Heel Men Take On Yellow Jackets In Midweek Test

ATLANTA– The 12-7 Carolina men’s basketball team, 2-4 in the ACC, will take on 11-9 Georgia Tech, 2-5 in conference, Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Atlanta.

***Listen to the story***

After a dominating performance against Clemson on Sunday, the Tar Heels will need to maintain their intensity on the road against the Yellow Jackets, who are coming off an 80-78 overtime loss at N.C.State.

Kennedy Meeks scored 11 points and recorded a team-high eight rebounds to go along with three blocks in the Clemson victory.

Head Coach Roy Williams says despite needing to shed a few more pounds, the freshman is beginning to come into his own on the floor.

“There is no magic weight, but I’d like for him to be lower so he can be more explosive. He didn’t handle it quite as well inside, five out of nine, and every one of his shots were three inches away from the basket. He is doing some good things. He’s working harder defensively, and he is the best passer out of all of them,” Coach Williams says.

James Michael McAdoo put up a team-leading 22 points on Sunday. The junior says he was really enjoying himself in the SmithCenter and is trying to appreciate all the minutes he has playing in a Carolina uniform.

“When I’m out there, I try not to let anything hold me back. Especially when the game is going well, you try to enjoy those moments. You don’t know when the next time you are going to get one,” McAdoo says.

Wednesday’s game figures to be a physical one. Georgia Tech sophomore Robert Carter, Jr. is averaging 9.3 rebounds per game while senior Daniel Miller is second in the ACC in blocked shots.

Senior Leslie McDonald says the Tar Heels need to be up to the challenge and play an attacking style.

“Mac [McAdoo] diving on the floor for extra possession. You see Desmond [Hubert] attacking the board and tapping the ball out for extra possessions. That’s what we need to have,” McDonald says.

McDonald has scored in double figures for three straight games. He says he feels he is being more patient with his shot.

“That’s one thing I’ve worked on a lot – just feeling the flow of the game, letting the game come to me and just playing my game,” McDonald says.

Coach Williams says this UNC squad has a chance to make a run if it chooses to play with the urgency and effort it takes to succeed. He points out the Tar Heels have no room for error this season.

“If they do that every game it will help us. In this league, nothing is a given. […] We’ve got to be able to do that every night. We have no chance if we don’t do that. I’ve had some teams that were very gifted that could win without their best effort, but this is a team that really needs to have that maximum effort,” Coach Williams says.

UNC leads the all-time series against Georgia Tech 63-24, but the two teams have split the last 20 meetings since the 2001-02 season.

Your Tar Heels-Yellow Jackets game day coverage begins on WCHL, 97.9 FM at 5:30 p.m. with Countdown to Tipoff and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 at 7 p.m..

Coach Fedora: Offense Has No Flow

CHAPEL HILL – The 28-20 defeat at Georgia Tech on Saturday saw the UNC offense held scoreless for the entire second half of football. A unit that has long been touted as explosive and dynamic has now been called in to question off the heels of a loss in the ACC opener.

And at Monday’s press conference, a rather blunt Head Coach Larry Fedora says he just doesn’t think his offense is gelling as a group yet.

“We’re not playing as well offensively. We’re just not playing as well. It’s as simple as that. It would be easy if it was just that one thing. […] There’s a lot of things involved with it,” Coach Fedora says.

Coach Fedora says there are numerous factors inhibiting the team’s ability to get in a rhythm during games including relative inexperience and lack of any flow.

“Some of it is the continuity up front and the young guys up front. I think there are a lot of different pieces. We’re not getting into a flow. You got to keep moving the chains to get in a flow offensively,” Coach Fedora says.

Unfortunately for the Tar Heels, Coach Fedora says one of the disappointing trends for the team is the inability to put together a solid complete game of football. He says the mistakes just keep piling up and that Carolina has a long way to go to get where they want to be.

“Whatever we could do to shoot ourselves in the foot and to hurt ourselves, we did. And that has kind of been our Achilles heel this year,” Coach Fedora says.

History seemed to repeat itself against Georgia Tech this year as the UNC defense recorded 21 missed tackles, allowing the Yellow Jackets offense to pick up crucial third down conversions.

Coach Fedora declines to comment on the controversial calls from Saturday’s game, one of which handed the Yellow Jackets a touchdown despite obvious evidence that the ball was fumbled before crossing the goal line.

With East Carolina coming into town next, Coach Fedora says the Pirate defense will be a handful for his team in Kenan Stadium.

“They’re flying around. You’ve got a lot of guys getting multiple hats to the ball. They’ve created some takeaways. I think they’re playing really well,” Coach Fedora says.

Tar Heel fans can come and watch Carolina take on ECU at 12:30 p.m. this Saturday. And WCHL (97.9 FM) will have you covered as always on game day.

We will get things started bright and early at 9 a.m. with Countdown to Kickoff. And tune in to On The Heels after the contest for in-depth post-game coverage and live call ins.

UNC Offense Stalls, GT Comes Back For 28-20 Win

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech scored 21 unanswered points against North Carolina Saturday and extended the 16-year unbeaten streak against the Tar Heels at home, 28-20.

UNC looked to be in clear control opening the contest with a four-yard rushing touchdown in the first two-and-a-half minutes by sophomore tailback Romar Morris, and this, the second score, a 19-yard toss from senior quarterback Bryn Renner to junior tight end Eric Ebron.

***Listen to the Call by Jones Angell on the Tar Heel Sports Network***

Carolina missed the point-after on the first touchdown and took the 13-0 lead into the second quarter.

About four minutes into the second frame, the Yellow Jackets found the endzone on a one-yard run by redshirt senior blocking back David Sims.

Just two minutes later, the Tar Heels answered with a 24-yard pass from Renner to junior wide receiver Sean Tapley.

***Listen to the Call by Jones Angell on the Tar Heel Sports Network***

But that’s where the scoring ended for UNC. Georgia Tech tallied seven more just 30 seconds before halftime and Carolina took the 20-14 lead into the locker room.

The heavens opened at the onset of the second half as a downpour ensued causing sloppy conditions. But it looked as if the home team took the worst of it, fumbling the ball two times in its opening possession of the half. But, the Jackets didn’t lose possession and pinned the Heels inside their 15.

A pair of penalties previewed the struggles Carolina was about to have in the second half as the offense just wasn’t able to click the way it did in the first. UNC saw three three-and-outs in the second half, and the only other series ended in an interception.

In all, Georgia Tech held the ball for nearly 41 minutes compared to Carolina’s 19; Tech outgained Carolina 428-319, including a 324-101 mark on the ground. The Tar Heels did win the passing category, 218-104.

After the game, Head Coach Larry Fedora said he was disappointed with the outcome considering how well his team began.

“Well, we had plenty of opportunities to win the football game, and we didn’t get it done,” Coach Fedora said. “They made more plays than we did and got a few more calls than we did. We just didn’t capitalize when we needed to. We had some momentum going early in the game and throughout that first half, and we just never put the ballgame away.”

With the loss, North Carolina fell to 1-2, 0-1 in the ACC; Georgia Tech improved to 3-0, 2-0 in the ACC.

The Tar Heels return home next week to host the East Carolina Pirates at 12:30 p.m. WCHL’s pregame coverage begins with Countdown to Kickoff with Ron Stutts presented by UNC Health Care live at Ram’s Plaza at 9:00 a.m.

‘Ultimate Measuring Stick': UNC Coaches Ready for Game Time

CHAPEL HILL—The Tar Heels finally get a chance to kick off their ACC slate against the formidable Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech Saturday. And with ample opportunity to prepare these last two weeks, the coaching staff is ready for some live action. Coach Fedora even calls the game the ‘ultimate measuring stick.’

Defensive Coordinator Vic Koenning says he tries to instill some fight and toughness in his defense, but in the end, the players have to want it the most.

“You like to take your heart, your knowledge, your focus, and everything you want as a coach and put it in some of them. And you can’t really do that. You can’t want it more than they want it,” Coach Koenning says.

Koenning says Saturday’s contest will come down to a battle of wills. Which team will sacrifice more to get the win? Koenning even quotes some Scripture when characterizing the showdown.

“In the Book of John in the Bible, 8:32, basically says the truth will set you free. On Saturday at twelve, the truth is going to be the truth. Do we want it enough? Are we willing to fly around and get off the ground and put our bodies in there?” Koenning asks.

Koenning says one of the scariest propositions for the Tar Heel defense this weekend will be containing standout Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee. His versatile play running the option and throwing the ball down the field presents major problems.

Head Coach Larry Fedora says despite the thorough and sound preparations made by his team, he can never really predict how his squad will fare on game day. It’s up to the players, after all.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time. I wish I could say that you know, but you never know. You really don’t. You work extremely hard during the week; you prepare them, and give them everything you possibly have. And then it comes down to the last day of a personal plan then,” Coach Fedora says.

For Tar Heel fans, let’s hope those “personal plans” include emerging with a win against a conference rival on Saturday.

UNC Offense Feeling Pressure to Perform

Photo courtesy of Aaron Beard

CHAPEL HILL– We are just two days out from the Tar Heels taking on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Atlanta. The pressing question in most observers’ minds is how the UNC defense will handle the rare triple option attack.

And UNC Offensive Coordinator Blake Anderson says he can’t help but admire the fundamentally sound scheme that Yellow Jacket Head Coach Paul Johnson employs to confuse teams with superior athletes.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for what they’ve been able to do, the points they’ve scored, and the games they’ve won. Honestly, even when situations sometimes when they’ve been outmatched physically, schematically they play better than the people they play,” Anderson says.

Anderson says his offense will feel a lot of pressure to keep the chains moving in Atlanta on Saturday, especially since the Jackets are famous for grinding out long, time-consuming drives that have opposing teams scratching their heads wondering where the game went to in the fourth quarter.

“You do take notice that they’re going to run the clock and run the ball. It’s going to be a very short game if you’re not careful. You’ll look up, and you will not have had enough drives and enough opportunities,” Anderson says.

The running game for the Tar Heels has left more to be desired thus far this season. Anderson says he hopes that one back will eventually emerge as the dominant rusher, but for now he says it will be a committee effort.

“We’re always looking for a guy to emerge, and any of the three would be great. If it happens, we’ll all be fired up. But if not, we’ll just continue to do what we are doing,” Anderson says.

Senior offensive tackle James Hurst says he admits that the offensive line is not quite where they need to be at this stage of 2013, but he says a lot of that has to do with the extreme youth of the unit.

“We’re not there. It’s tough to say the total potential that you have. […] They’re really young. You don’t really know what kind of potential that you have until you get those guys confident and playing well,” Hurst says.

Hurst says the conference opener will go a long way to deciding who will play for the ACC Championship come December. In effect, Hurst says this game is a must-win.

“You really want to keep your fate in your own hands as far as tiebreakers and all that stuff. If you win them all you don’t have to worry about that. So this our first one, and we got to win it,” Hurst says.