UNC’s search for answers continues vs. Georgia Tech

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North Carolina aims to end a four-game losing streak Saturday when it hosts Georgia Tech in an Atlantic Coast Conference clash at Chapel Hill, N.C.

The latest loss for the Tar Heels (5-4, 0-1 ACC) came Sunday in their ACC opener, falling at Virginia Tech 80-72.

UNC was plagued by poor play early on. In the final 18 minutes of the first half, the Tar Heels failed to tally an assist and did not grab a single offensive rebound in the stretch. UNC also shot 1 of 9 from 3-point range in the first half.

Still, the Tar Heels battled back and cut the deficit to a single possession before Virginia Tech pulled away for good. UNC’s Armando Bacot, the preseason ACC Player of the Year, missed the game with a right shoulder injury. Without him, the Tar Heels lost the rebounding battle 39-25.

But Bacot’s return could be imminent. He worked out with the team Thursday and increased his reps Friday, North Carolina coach Hubert Davis said, confirming the injury was to Bacot’s AC joint.

“I was going under the assumption that he would play (at Virginia Tech), and when he came back and he said he didn’t feel like he could, then we move forward,” Davis said. “It is what it is. North Carolina always shows up, it doesn’t matter who’s playing or not. We had enough in the bag to be able to win (against Virginia Tech), and we just didn’t do it.”

Guard Caleb Love (19.0 points per game) has been leading the way for North Carolina.

Saturday’s game is the ACC opener for Georgia Tech (6-3). The Yellow Jackets are coming off a narrow 79-77 home win over rival Georgia on Tuesday. Four Yellow Jackets scored in double figures, with Miles Kelly leading the way with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists.

Georgia Tech won despite allowing the Bulldogs to shoot 53.4 percent from the floor. This season, the Yellow Jackets are holding opponents to 40.8 percent from the field.

“It’s a great win for Georgia Tech,” Yellow Jackets’ coach Josh Pastner said. “We had a really clean game.”

–Field Level Media

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