Georgia Tech cools No. 1 Heels, 89-69

January 13, 1994|By Knight-Ridder News Service

ATLANTA -- Rebounding from an 0-2 start in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Georgia Tech blew open a close game in the final 3 1/2 minutes to whip top-ranked North Carolina, 89-69, last night.

"Everyone asked me what it would take to win, and I said a tremendous effort by our team. We gave one of the finest performances I've seen since I've been coaching here," said Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins. "It was just a great, great effort offensively, defensively."

There were those who stood out for Georgia Tech, however, as the No. 17 Yellow Jackets (10-3, 1-2) won their third consecutive game against a No. 1-ranked foe. Georgia Tech beat Duke last January at home and North Carolina in the championship game of the ACC tournament in March.

As usual, juniors Travis Best and James Forrest were in the thick of the effort -- Best led the Yellow Jackets with 27 points, and Forrest added 22.

Senior Ivano Newbill helped Forrest slow North Carolina's potent inside attack with good defense and a game-high 12 rebounds. And senior guard Fred Vinson hit three important three-pointers to help the Yellow Jackets -- a second-half rally.

The Yellow Jackets never trailed. They jumped out to a 13-point lead in the opening 10 minutes.

The Tar Heels (12-2, 2-1) pulled even twice early in the second half, but Georgia Tech hit four three-pointers over the next 4:39 -- two by Vinson -- to build a 58-50 lead.

The Yellow Jackets boosted their lead to 74-64, forcing Carolina to call a timeout with 2:40 to go and put in its three-point shooters. But the move backfired, and Tech outscored the Tar Heels 15-5 down the stretch.

"Georgia Tech played terrific," said North Carolina coach Dean Smith. "I thought we were in great shape with a little more than four minutes to play, but then we had a couple of turnovers. We haven't worked a lot on our chase game [trying to rally quickly], and it showed up. We didn't handle the last 2 1/2 minutes very well at all."

Eric Montross led the Tar Heels with 20 points, but Jerry Stackhouse, with 12, was the only other Carolina player in double figures.

NORTH CAROLINA -- Reese 4-7 0-0 8, Salvadori 3-5 0-0 6, Montross 9-14 2-2 20, Phelps 2-7 0-0 4, D.Williams 0-8 0-0 0, Wallace 3-7 0-0 6, Stackhouse 4-12 3-4 12, Calabria 3-9 1-2 9, McInnis 2-4 0-1 4, Davis 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 30-74 6-9 69.

GEORGIA TECH -- Moore 3-12 0-0 7, Forrest 8-16 6-6 22, Newbill 5-7 1-2 11, Best 9-16 8-8 27, Barry 3-5 0-0 8, Vinson 4-9 0-0 11, Elisma 1-2 0-0 2, Harlicka 0-2 0-0 0, Balanis 0-0 0-0 0, Barbic 0-0 1-2 1, C.Williams 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-70 16-18 89.

Halftime--Georgia Tech 38, North Carolina 35. 3-point goals--North Carolina 3-19 (Calabria 2-6, Stackhouse 1-4, McInnis 0-1, Davis 0-1, Phelps 0-2, D.Williams 0-5), Georgia Tech 7-18 (Vinson 3-7, Barry 2-3, Moore 1-3, Best 1-4, Harlicka 0-1). Fouled out--Calabria. Rebounds--North Carolina 46 (Montross 10), Georgia Tech 37 (Newbill 12). Assists--North Carolina 16 (Phelps 8), Georgia Tech 23 (Best 9). Total fouls--Carolina 18, Ga. Tech 13. A--10,026.

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