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Tech the latest to beat UNC

Photo by Scott Chancey

Photo by Scott Chancey

ATLANTA -- Roy Williams wasn't expecting North Carolina's season of struggles to hit another low against Georgia Tech.

Instead, the Tar Heels' lowest-scoring game of Williams' seven seasons as coach dropped North Carolina closer to the bottom of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings.

Freshman Derrick Favors shook off a scoring slump with 13 points and Georgia Tech beat North Carolina 68-51 on Tuesday night to give the Yellow Jackets their first regular-season sweep of the Tar Heels since 1995-96.

"I didn't think we would play like that tonight," Williams said. "I honestly thought we would play well. ... Guys, we can't win against anybody with that kind of effort."

North Carolina's previous scoring low in Williams' seven seasons as coach came in a 64-54 loss to Duke on Feb. 10. The Tar Heels also set Williams-era lows for points in a half after trailing 41-21 at halftime.

"It's not fair to say I'm embarrassed, because I'm embarrassed in myself, too," Williams said.

Guards Larry Drew II and Will Graves combined to make only 4 of 17 shots for North Carolina.

"It's disappointing and frustrating," Drew said. "We need to have more consistency. ... I can't put my finger on it. I'm going to find it."

Georgia Tech (18-8, 6-6 ACC) ended a two-game losing streak. The Yellow Jackets are 5-1 at home, but 1-5 on the road in ACC games.

"I thought our big guys did a good job, especially Derrick around the basket," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "North Carolina was obviously missing its big guys."

Favors had been held below 10 points in four of his last five games, including two straight. He made 6 of 9 shots and had nine rebounds.

Brian Oliver and Zachery Peacock each had 12 points for Georgia Tech. Gani Lawal added nine points and 11 rebounds. Moe Miller had 11 points while making 3 of 4 3-pointers.

North Carolina (14-12, 3-8) fell to 2-8 in its last 10 games, with its only wins in that span coming against N.C. State.

Deon Thompson led the Tar Heels with 17 points. John Henson added 11 with 10 rebounds and four blocks.

The Tar Heels were without starting forward Ed Davis (fractured left wrist) for the second straight game. Davis was averaging 13.4 points and 9.6 rebounds and is expected to miss six weeks.

Tyler Zeller, a 7-foot backup who was averaging 9.6 points, missed his 10th straight game with a broken foot. Forward Travis Wear (sprained ankle) missed his third straight game.

North Carolina's 22.6 percent shooting from the field in the first half set yet another low under Williams. The Tar Heels shot 32.2 percent for the game.

The Tar Heels committed 19 turnovers, including 15 in the first half.

"When your shots are not going in and you have turnovers, it has a snowball effect," Drew said. "It happens so quick.

"You try to slow things down, but after four or five possessions, it's too late. ... We have to have more composure as a team."

The Tar Heels stayed close early. Georgia Tech led 17-14 following a 3-pointer by Graves and pulled away with a 21-4 run that was capped by 11 straight points.

Favors capped the run with a fast-break jam for a 38-18 lead.

North Carolina's scoring woes continued in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Georgia Tech took a 28-point lead at 57-29 on a 3-pointer by Miller with 9:41 remaining.

North Carolina closed the gap late, but still the 17-point win was Georgia Tech's biggest in the series since an 88-68 victory in 2003. It was the first time the Yellow Jackets held North Carolina under 54 points since the first meeting between the teams in 1925.

Play was stopped with 10:59 remaining in the first half as official John Cahill was forced to leave with a right hamstring injury. Play resumed with the two remaining officials, Bryan Kersey and Gary Maxwell.

Freshman Glen Rice had five points in his first start for Georgia Tech, replacing freshman Mfon Udofia.