UNC’s first lead of the night did not come until the final 2.5 seconds of the third quarter, when two free throws by sophomore guard Jamie Cherry put the Tar Heels up 57-56. Cherry led the Tar Heels with 15 points.
With 3:44 left in the fourth quarter, a jumper by first-year guard Destinee Walker gave the Tar Heels a 69-65 lead.
But mental errors gave way to an 11-2 run by the Yellow Jackets (11-7, 1-4 ACC) led by senior wing Aaliyah Whiteside that was too much to overcome. The ACC’s leading scorer totaled 27 points against the Tar Heels.
“We just had a couple mental lapses in the last few minutes," Hatchell said. "But you know, we’ll keep working on it — watching film, spending hours in the film room — and just keep battling. We’re battling. We’re fighting.”
“Well, we should’ve won the game. You know, we had a lead. We made a couple of changes trying to make situations better for the shooters, trying to get Jamie on the wing, and the freshmen I guess just aren’t seasoned enough to handle that.” — Hatchell on her team’s performance against Georgia Tech.
The Tar Heels played without McDaniel for over half of the game after the senior suffered a knee injury in the second quarter, and redshirt senior forward Erika Johnson fouled out with just over five minutes left in regulation.
Three numbers that matter
88: Georgia Tech made 88 percent of its free throws, while North Carolina shot 80 percent from the charity stripe.
19: North Carolina’s total losses to Georgia Tech since the 1979-1980 season. The Tar Heels lead the series with 55 wins.
15: UNC committed 15 turnovers against the Yellow Jackets.
The Tar Heels host No. 21 Miami at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday at Carmichael Arena.