The Jackets trip to Chapel Hill Saturday ended up being one of the most frustrating games of the season. Despite shooting 48% compared to 42% for the Tar Heels, Tech ended up losing by 14 thanks to a 46-26 UNC rebounding margin. Saturday’s loss dropped the Jackets to 10-9 while #15 UNC improved to 16-4.
The Tar Heels came into the country as one of the nation’s top rebounding teams, but no one could have predicted the dominating performance they put forth Saturday afternoon. North Carolina nearly doubled up the Jackets on the boards with a final tally of 46 to 26. UNC was able to turn a whopping nineteen offensive rebounds into 26 second chance points. Okogie led all Jackets with 7 rebounds while Lammers and Gueye both had just four. Think it’s safe to assume rebounding drills will be on the Tech practice schedule this week.
In a game that featured frequent whistles, the majority seemed to favor the Tar Heels. Tech was called for 23 fouls while UNC was called for just 12, resulting in 24 free throws for North Carolina and just six for Georgia Tech. Tadric Jackson was in foul trouble for much of the game and fouled out with 4:03 remaining. Due to the foul trouble, Jackson played limited minutes and scored just seven points.
Freshman guard Jose Alvarado had an excellent game, scoring 17 points on 6-11 shooting including four threes. Alvarado was also involved in one of the most controversial plays of the game when he pulled an Allen Iverson and stepped over Joel Berry following a foul call against him. He received a technical foul and a cacophony of boos from the UNC faithful for the rest of the game.
Josh Okogie bounced back from a 9 point performance against Virginia to score 18 points on Saturday, right around his season average. He was 8-16 from the field and certainly looks to have shaken off all the rust from his finger injury.
After a sloppy first half that featured 18 total turnovers, both teams settled down a bit in the second half and combined for just 11. The Jackets finished the game with 15 turnovers and UNC finished with 14. 15 turnovers wasn’t as bad as the 19 Tech had against Virginia, but it continues to be an issue for the Jackets.
Next up for Georgia Tech is a road trip to Tallahassee to take on Florida State. The Seminoles are 14-5 on the season and beat Virginia Tech 91-82 Saturday afternoon.