Maye, Pin­son help No. 15 UNC beat Tech

The Standard Journal - - NATIONAL SPORTS - By Joedy McCreary As­so­ci­ated Press Sports Writer

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina kept hit­ting the glass hard — then pulled away af­ter one of its most im­por­tant play­ers hit the floor hard.

Luke Maye had 17 points and 11 re­bounds, and the 15th-ranked Tar Heels beat Ge­or­gia Tech 80-66 on Satur­day. Theo Pin­son added 11 points and 10 re­bounds, and Joel Berry II and Cameron John­son fin­ished with 16 points apiece to help the Tar Heels ( 16- 4, 5- 2 At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence).

They shot 42 per­cent and dom­i­nated the glass, build­ing a 46-25 re­bound­ing ad­van­tage and scor­ing 26 sec­ond-chance points to Ge­or­gia Tech’s four.

“We’re push­ing our guys — as you’ve heard me say for 15 years how im­por­tant I think re­bound­ing the ball is,” coach Roy Wil­liams said.

Jose Al­varado scored 17 points and hit four 3-point­ers, in­clud­ing one that pulled the Yel­low Jack­ets to 70-62 with about 3½ min­utes left. But he fouled Berry on the Tar Heels’ en­su­ing pos­ses­sion, send­ing the point guard to the floor — and then stepped over him, earn­ing a tech­ni­cal foul with 3:21 to play.

“I just felt like it was dis­re­spect­ful to me,” Berry said. “I never want any­body to dis­re­spect me like that. So I knew at the time he was go­ing to do it. I just tried to get up fast, be­cause I don’t like peo­ple step­ping over me any­way. I just told him, ‘Watch where you’re step­ping.’”

Berry hit three of the four free throws he was awarded to put North Carolina’s lead into dou­ble fig­ures to stay. The Tar Heels were 19 of 24 from the line, while Ge­or­gia Tech was just 3 of 6.

Josh Oko­gie led Ge­or­gia Tech (10-9, 3-3) with 18 points, while Ben Lam­mers and Ab­doulaye Gu­eye each had 12. The Yel­low Jack­ets were just 5 of 18 from 3-point range and had 15 turnovers.

“The whole key is, you’ve got to make free throws and don’t turn the ball over,” Tech coach Josh Past­ner said. “Those are two ar­eas where we haven’t been as good as I would like to be, and that’s put us in some po­si­tions of some of our losses.”

Big pic­ture

Ge­or­gia Tech: The Yel­low Jack­ets had won four in a row be­fore this two-game run against Top 15 op­po­nents. Af­ter suf­fo­cat­ing against No. 2 Vir­ginia’s ACC-best de­fense, Ge­or­gia Tech couldn’t keep up with North Carolina’s fast-paced of­fense, which av­er­ages nearly 83 points — es­pe­cially af­ter one stretch in which it had two field goals in 10plus min­utes.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels’ win­ning streak re­mains in­tact, but Berry had a rough day un­til his free-throw bo­nanza all but iced it. The most out­stand­ing player at the Fi­nal Four fin­ished just 3 of 17 from the field and was just 1 of 8 from long range.

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