Pinson, Heels keep Yellow Jackets at bay

North Carolina’s Theo Pinson recorded the second double-double of his career and helped keep Georgia Tech at bay as the Tar Heels won 80-66 at home. (1/20) Pinson, who scored 11 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, helped Carolina recover from an early five-point deficit with a three pointer from the right corner followed by a driving dunk to put the Heels back up. After a 10-0 Georgia Tech run, Pinson righted the ship with a fast break layup following a steal and a nifty assist to Sterling Manley who dunked it through to help Carolina to a 35-28 halftime […]

North Carolina’s Theo Pinson recorded the second double-double of his career and helped keep Georgia Tech at bay as the Tar Heels won 80-66 at home. (1/20)

Pinson, who scored 11 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, helped Carolina recover from an early five-point deficit with a three pointer from the right corner followed by a driving dunk to put the Heels back up.

After a 10-0 Georgia Tech run, Pinson righted the ship with a fast break layup following a steal and a nifty assist to Sterling Manley who dunked it through to help Carolina to a 35-28 halftime lead.

After the Jackets cut a 15-point Carolina lead to just five midway through the second half, Cam Johnson used a screen to drive in for a layup and Joel Berry scored on a long pass upcourt from Pinson. During that 12-5 stretch, Pinson also tied up a GT defender to give the ball back to Carolina on alternate possessions.

“Theo was really something,” said UNC coach Roy Williams. who was otherwise upset with Carolina’s 10 first-half turnovers and their mediocre shooting effort (42 percent).

“Hopefully we’ll shoot the ball better,” he said. “I think we’re as good a shooting team as I’ve ever had.”

Pinson said every game isn’t going to be pretty. “But we have to find ways to win games,” he said. Pinson said that since the losses at Florida State and Virginia, he has committed himself to being in attack mode all the time.

Carolina certainly attacked the rim and that proved the difference as the Heels outrebounded the Jackets 46-25 and scored 26 second-chance points.

A 15-7 run early in the second half, highlighted by six Luke Maye points including four off offensive rebounds, pushed the Carolina lead to a game-high 15 points at 52-37.

Despite three triples by GT’s Jose Alvarado, Carolina was able to stay up by hitting free throws down the stretch. UNC was 19 of 24 from the line compared to just three of six for the Yellow Jackets.

Alvarado drew the ire of the crowd and helped stymie a Georgia Tech run when he picked up person foul by slamming Berry to the ground and an unsportsmanlike technical by stepping over him unnecessarily. Berry hit three of the subsequent four free throws with 3:20 to go to put the Heels up by 11 and it never got closer.

Maye led the Heels with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Berry, who hit only three of 17 shots, got a slew of free throws to finish with 16 points. Johnson also added 16 points while Pinson was the fourth and final Tar Heel in double figures with 11 points.

Carolina improves to 16-4 overall and 5-2 in the ACC while Georgia Tech falls to 10-9 and 3-3 in the conference.

For a box score and more analysis of the game, please click here.

Theo Pinson on defense. (UNC Sports Information photo.)

Theo Pinson on defense. (UNC Sports Information photo.)