John Salley scored 11 second-half points, including a three-point play with 56 seconds left, to lead 17th-ranked Georgia Tech to a 66-62 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over seventh-ranked North Carolina yesterday in Chapel Hill, N.C. The victory broke the Yellow Jackets' 20-game losing streak against North Carolina.
"The league is going to be crazy," Tech Coach Bobby Cremins said. "We play North Carolina State next week and you know what can happen. Anyone who sits on their laurels is not going to live long."
Georgia Tech (15-3, 4-2 in the ACC) led, 58-51, with 4:32 remaining, and despite three baskets by North Carolina's Steve Hale, held on on the strength of Salley's three-point play and by making five of seven free throws in the final minute.
North Carolina (14-4, 4-2), held to its lowest point total of the season, rallied from a 10-point deficit early in the second half. Hale led the Tar Heels with 19 points and Brad Daugherty had 18.
Mark Price led Georgia Tech with 17 points. Salley had 13 and Yvon Joseph and Duane Ferrell scored 11 each.
"I think now people are going to think that Georgia Tech is for real," Price said. "We're proving we're no longer a hot-and-cold team. Today we showed we were a good team."
North Carolina has lost two straight games at Carmichael Auditorium, the first time that's happened since 1965.
"Our backs are to the wall," North Carolina Coach Dean Smith said. "We have a lot of road games left. That's why we need to improve."
In the first half, Georgia Tech rebounded well offensively to get 14 more shots than the Tar Heels. Georgia Tech led at intermission, 34-28.