Jan. 12, 2005
By KEITH PARSONS
AP Sports Writer
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – For the first time in four games, North Carolina failed to reach 100 points.
Jawad Williams led a balanced attack with 18 points and the third-ranked Tar Heels rolled to another impressive victory, 91-69 over No. 8 Georgia Tech on Wednesday night.
Marvin Williams had 14 points and Rashad McCants and Sean May each added 12 for North Carolina (14-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which has won 14 straight since an opening loss to Santa Clara. Point guard Raymond Felton was suspended for that game because he played in an non-sanctioned summer league game, and with him on the court, the Tar Heels have had few challenges.
The Yellow Jackets (11-3, 2-1) certainly didn’t provide one. Playing without guard B.J. Elder for the third straight game, Georgia Tech led only at 1-0, quickly fell behind and never recovered. Jarrett Jack had 24 points and Luke Schenscher finished with 13.
With one matchup against a Top Ten opponent out of the way, North Carolina can turn its attention to Saturday’s game at No. 4 Wake Forest.
Felton and the other starters had plenty of help from the bench in this one, led by Marvin Williams. In the first half, the Tar Heels’ reserves outscored their counterparts 21-0, and it was much the same after the break until both coaches cleared the benches.
A 10-0 run that was capped by Felton’s 3-pointer put North Carolina ahead 17-5, its first double-digit lead of the game. It grew slowly after that, even while the Tar Heels continued to enjoy some highlight-reel moments.
The biggest ones probably came from McCants, who surprisingly played some stingy defense. Known mostly as a scorer, he finished with a career-high four blocks, three in the first half.
He showed his intensity early, leaping high to block Will Bynum’s first shot of the game. Later, with the game all but decided, the 6-foot-4 McCants stuffed a dunk by 6-9 Theodis Tarver, then celebrated by hopping across midcourt.
McCants’ effort symbolized the unselfishness the Tar Heels showed, a fact further illustrated by their passing. They had 24 assists on their 28 baskets, including 16 out of 17 in the first half.
Felton finished off the opening 20 minutes with the final one, drawing the defense to him before dishing to Melvin Scott on the wing. Scott swished a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to make it 46-28.