The Jackets trail the North Carolina Tar Heels 43-29 at the half. Marcus Georges-Hunt leads the Tech scoring effort with 11 points. Quinton Stephens is second with eight points off the bench. Freshman guard Tadric Jackson is making his second straight start in place of Chris Bolden, who has been suspended for six games.
The Tar Heels started the game on an emotional note. Shortly after a Travis Jorgenson turnover, UNC guard Marcus Paige set up Four Corners as their first offensive play of the game, in honor of Dean Smith - a motion that brought the crowd to its feet and clearly moved head coach Roy Williams. Fittingly enough, the Heels scored on a quick pass down low for the first bucket of the game.
The Heels then went on a 7-0 run across a three minute stretch in which the Jackets took some very poor, low-percentage shots. Fortunately, Marcus Georges-Hunt woke the offense up with a three point play to give the Jackets their first points of the game.
Over the next seven minutes, Georges-Hunt and Quinton Stephens went 4-5 from three-point range to help stymy the Heels' early surge and keep the game close.
After pulling to within 5 on a DeMarco Cox dunk to make it 26-21 in favor of UNC at the 8:38 mark, the Heels outscored the Jackets 17-8 the rest of the way to make it 43-29 at the half. Tech scored just three points in the final four minutes.
UNC shot an impressive 61.3% from the floor compared to Tech's 30.3%. The Jackets are also losing the rebounding battle, particularly on the offensive side - the Heels have 17 defensive rebounds compared to Tech's seven offensive rebounds.