ATLANTA (Ticker) -- B.J. Elder used a sizzling 3-point stretch to get Georgia Tech back on track in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Elder drilled a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored 30 points as the 16th-ranked Yellow Jackets rode his terrific shooting to an 88-77 victory over No. 17 North Carolina.
Georgia Tech (18-5, 5-4 ACC) moved into sole possession of third place in the conference behind Elder's 24 second-half points. He nailed 3-pointers on four straight possessions, including one from the right side for a 60-57 lead with 10:19 to go.
That shot triggered a 13-4 surge that featured five more points from Elder, including a jumper for a 70-61 lead with 6:12 to go.
"We have placed a great deal of emphasis on setting screens for B.J. and also for Will Bynum," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "On top of that, he's just a great talent, so if you give him a little room, he can put up big numbers."
The Tar Heels (14-7, 4-6) concluded a grueling stretch of three games in six days against ranked opponents. They lost to top-ranked Duke in overtime on Thursday before ending a 10-game road ACC skid with Saturday's win at Wake Forest.
"First thing I've learned is that it's not very good scheduling," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "My team didn't have anything to do with that, but in this league you're going to have stretches like that."
Red-hot Rashad McCants poured in a career-high 31 points to lead North Carolina. McCants, who scored 28 after halftime, is averaging just under 24 points a game in his last eight outings.
McCants, who also nailed a career-high seven 3-pointers, scored 12 consecutive points in one span. Elder was seemingly there with an answer each time as two of the top scorers in the ACC matched each other shot for shot. The heated action also included a ferocious follow slam by Yellow Jackets reserve Isma'il Muhammad.
"I hope you all enjoyed the game because I found myself getting caught up in it," Hewitt said. "A couple of shots that B.J. made, a couple of shots that McCants made and, of course, Isma'il's dunk. He came out of nowhere."
Georgia Tech shot just 37.5 percent (12-of-32) in the first half despite building a 34-29 lead. The second half was a different story as it turned in a sizzling 64 percent (14-of-22) performance, mostly thanks to Elder's amazing shooting.
"We got right back there and then all of a sudden B.J. just started making every shot he looked at," Williams said.
North Carolina's Raymond Felton, who scored 27 points in the first meeting with the Yellow Jackets, had a quiet night with eight points and six assists. Outside of McCants, North Carolina shot 35 percent (18-of-51).
Reserves Will Bynum and Clarence Moore combined for 27 points as Georgia Tech's bench outscored North Carolina's, 31-10.