THE FLATS – Rusne Augustinaite converted a four-point play with 29 seconds left to cut the score to three points, but No. 23 North Carolina finished strong at the free throw line to edge Georgia Tech, 73-68, in McCamish Pavilion Thursday evening.
Georgia Tech (12-6, 3-3 ACC) trailed by 14 with 5:30 left in the game before Tonie Morgan jumpstarted a 14-4 run capped by Augustinaite’s four-point play to setup a 67-64 ballgame. But the game was decided at the free throw line as Deja Kelly went 6-for-6 over the final 23 seconds to close the game for North Carolina (13-5, 5-1 ACC). Inés Noguero drained a three-pointer with 11.9 ticks on the clock, making it a two-point game, but Tech’s rally came up just short.
It was a tale of runs in the first half as UNC strung together a 12-2 spurt over the two quarters to open a 23-13 lead with 7:16 to play in the second. But Georgia Tech called a timeout and came out of the break answering with a 10-0 run of their own, fueled by a pair of three-pointers from Ariadna Termis, to knot the game at 23-23. The Tar Heels would regain a five-point advantage, but a three-pointer from Kara Dunn closed the half, setting up a narrow 30-28 UNC lead at halftime.
Morgan led Georgia Tech with 15 points, nine assists and six rebounds. She was followed by Dunn with 14 points and six rebounds, while Termis and Augustinaite each added 11 points. Termis connected on 3-of-4 from three-point distance to set a new personal-best. For the game, Tech hit seven three-pointers and finished 11-for-15 from the free throw line. The Jackets shot 48.1 percent from the field.
North Carolina was paced in scoring by Kelly with 27 points, who converted 10-of-12 free throw attempts. The Tar Heels shot 45.0 percent from the floor and 84.2 percent (16-for-19) at the charity stripe.
Georgia Tech continues this homestand welcoming Boston College on Sunday, Jan. 21. Tip is slated for 2 p.m. in McCamish Pavilion and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.
Associate head coach Blanche Alverson postgame press conference
Sophomore Kara Dunn postgame press conference
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