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Felton has 25, May 28 for Tar Heels

1/12/2004

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- With Raymond Felton weaving through the
defense and Sean May dominating inside, North Carolina (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) ran right past No. 8 Georgia Tech on Sunday night.

Felton had 25 points and nine assists and the Tar Heels never
trailed in beating the Yellow Jackets 103-88.

May had a career-high 28 points for the Tar Heels (10-2, 1-1
Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won 10 of the last 12 meetings
in the series. Rashad McCants added 17 as the Tar Heels earned a
big win before an important stretch that includes a trip to
Maryland and a home game against No. 1 Connecticut.

Felton powered the North Carolina offense with his steady
ballhandling, beating Georgia Tech's fullcourt pressure and
speeding up the Tar Heels' offense. He routinely found teammates
for easy scores or provided them himself when the Tar Heels needed
a basket.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt praised Felton, who went
7-for-11 from the field and 10-for-12 at the line, for his command
of the floor, while North Carolina coach Roy Williams said Felton
had his best game of the season.

"That's wonderful just to see the court spread out like that,"
Felton said. "You've got a lane and you just penetrate."

May, meanwhile, went 11-for-20 while pulling down eight
rebounds.

The Yellow Jackets (12-2, 0-1) had held opponents to 57.6 points
and 36 percent shooting per game, but the Tar Heels shot 49 percent
and passed the 100-point mark for the fourth time this season. Both
figures were the most allowed by Georgia Tech this season.

"I still think we can win games in the 50s and 60s," Williams
said, "but I'd rather win in the 90s."

Jarrett Jack scored 22 points to lead the Yellow Jackets, who
haven't won at the Smith Center since February 1996. Georgia Tech
has lost five straight conference openers.

Georgia Tech also committed a season-high 24 turnovers and shot
a season-low 41.5 percent.

North Carolina hit its first four shots, all from 15 feet or
closer, to take a 9-0 lead and never looked back. Felton had a
three-point play and two assists during the opening
spurt.

The Tar Heels led by as many as 21 points in the second half and
never let the lead slip below nine, but it wasn't easy. The Yellow
Jackets played aggressively and pushed the ball back up the court
in a furious effort to get back into the contest.

In addition, the Tar Heels, who lack depth, got into foul
trouble and had to play without Jawad Williams for most of the
second half.

Williams got a bloody nose and a possible concussion when he
collided with Jack near midcourt with 18:21 to play. Williams
sustained a concussion in the Tar Heels' win against North
Carolina-Wilmington on Dec. 28.

In the end, however, the Yellow Jackets' early hole was just too
much to overcome.

"We can't start off like that and expect to go out there and
finish strong," said Clarence Moore, who finished with three
points and three rebounds.

North Carolina hit 12 of its first 19 shots and used a 10-0 run
to take a 36-16 lead on a basket from May with 9:17 left in the
half. Georgia Tech closed the gap to 13 before the Tar Heels
answered with one of several spurts _ a 7-2 burst _ that pushed the
lead to 53-35 on May's inside score off a feed from Felton.

"Every time we made a run," Hewitt said, "they sent us back
the other way."

The Yellow Jackets stayed in the game by going 5-for-10 from
3-point range, but trailed 53-39 at the break.