Finally, our long national nightmare is over. After a recent streak of nothing but bad luck across pretty much the entire athletic department, there was finally something to be happy about again. UNC was able to shake off their four-game losing streak in their first home game in the better part of a month with their 75-59 win against Georgia Tech Saturday afternoon.
Carolina got good offense with Armando Bacot and RJ Davis recording 21 and 22 point games, respectively. Davis was even able to join Bacot in having a double-double for the game with 10 (Bacot had 13), a rare feat for the point guard. Pete Nance and Caleb Love also finished in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Hubert Davis gave freshman Seth Trimble extra minutes late in the first half with Love struggling a bit with his shot. Trimble brought the energy and effectiveness pretty much immediately, and dished out three assists before halftime. That lesson seemed to be pretty effective for Love, who had a much better second half. He went from three turnovers in the first half to just one after halftime.
Bacot returned to the starting lineup against the Yellow Jackets, but early on it looked as though that might have been a mistake. Bacot’s right shoulder was evidently still barking at him, causing him to reach for it on multiple occasions in the first few minutes of the game. That seemed to clear up quite a bit as the game went on, thankfully, but it’s not a real shock that he wouldn’t be 100% after missing Sunday’s game against Virginia Tech.
The team shot 47% from the field for the game, which was quite a bit better than what we’ve seen from them in the rough stretch of games lately. Three-point shooting continues to be a struggle, as they made just three of their 13 attempts, but they were able to make up for it by besting Georgia Tech on the boards with a +20 margin. UNC pulled down 12 offensive rebounds for seven second chance points while the Yellow Jackets had just one offensive board.
Perhaps the biggest difference in this game was the team’s willingness to share the ball. Assists have been hard to come by all season for UNC, but they assisted on 15 of their 27 field goals in the victory. It was a much more unselfish version of basketball than what has been on display to this point in the season.
An exciting footnote was that we finally got to see Jalen Washington in game action. The freshman’s arrival has been much anticipated, but delayed due to injury recovery. He was able to chip in two points late, and the crowd certainly appreciated it. Hopefully we see a lot more of him soon.
Hopefully this game ends up being something the team can build off as they close in on a difficult stretch to close out 2022. After welcoming The Citadel to Chapel Hill on Tuesday, UNC will face Ohio State and Michigan before Christmas.