ATLANTA (AP) — Naithan George scored a go-ahead layup with 7.7 seconds remaining and Georgia Tech beat No. 3 North Carolina 74-73 on Tuesday night to end the Tar Heels’ 10-game winning streak.
RJ Davis, who scored a game-high 28 points for North Carolina (17-4, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), won the race to a loose ball following a missed jumper by George and scored on a layup with 34 seconds remaining for a 73-72 lead.
Following a Georgia Tech timeout, George drove for the go-ahead layup.
Georgia Tech (10-11, 3-7) ended a three-game losing streak.
North Carolina called a timeout with 4.6 seconds remaining, but Davis missed a last-second jumper, prompting Georgia Tech fans to celebrate by rushing onto the court.
There was contact from Georgia Tech’s Ebenezer Dowuona on the last shot by Davis, who pleaded to the officials — without success — for a foul.
North Carolina suffered its first conference loss following its best ACC start since winning its first 11 ACC games in the 2000-01 season.
Georgia Tech claimed its third home win over a Top 25 team after beating No. 21 Mississippi State 67-59 on Nov. 28 and No. 7 Duke 72-68 on Dec. 2 to open its ACC schedule.
Kyle Sturdivant led Georgia Tech with 18 points. George had 16 points and Miles Kelly added 15.
The Tar Heels led 36-25 following a 3-pointer by Cormac Ryan. The Yellow Jackets closed the first half with a 12-1 run to pull even at 37 at halftime. Kelly sank two 3-pointers and Ibrahima Sacko added another 3 from the corner during the run.
North Carolina enjoyed a similar run, scoring 12 unanswered points, to take an early 20-11 lead. A three-point play by Elliot Cadeau, set up by Harrison Ingram’s steal, capped the run.
There was a strong showing by North Carolina fans in the sellout crowd. Georgia Tech called for a white-out, but Carolina blue commanded approximately half of the crowd.
The visit to Georgia Tech was the last of six ACC road games for the Tar Heels in January. That set a high mark for conference road games since playing seven in its last season in the Southern Conference in January 1952.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels lead the ACC with 41.25 rebounds per game and used that advantage to take a 23-8 lead in second-chance points. Offensive rebounds set up back-to-back baskets by Jalen Washington and Harrison Ingram early in the second half.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets’ front-line depth was tested early. Forward Baye Ndongo, the team’s leading rebounder, was escorted to the locker room less than 5 minutes into the game and was evaluated for a head injury. He was ruled out at halftime. Dowuona was called for his third foul with 6:06 remaining in the first half and finished with four.
North Carolina: Hosts No. 7 Duke on Saturday.
Georgia Tech: Visits North Carolina State on Saturday.
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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball