UNC Archive

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Late-game threes propel UNC to victory at Miami

North Carolina was locked in a close battle at Miami with seven minutes to go when UNC’s Cam Johnson and Kenny Williams combined for four three-pointers over the next two and a half minutes to propel the Tar Heels to an 85-76 win over the Canes. (1/19) After a first half that went back and forth and ended in a 37-37 tie, the Tar Heels went on a 7-0 run to go up 56-48 with 13:20 left in the game. Trailing the Heels 61-52 midway through the second half, the Hurricanes went on a 10-2 run of their own to […]

North Carolina was locked in a close battle at Miami with seven minutes to go when UNC’s Cam Johnson and Kenny Williams combined for four three-pointers over the next two and a half minutes to propel the Tar Heels to an 85-76 win over the Canes. (1/19)

After a first half that went back and forth and ended in a 37-37 tie, the Tar Heels went on a 7-0 run to go up 56-48 with 13:20 left in the game.

Trailing the Heels 61-52 midway through the second half, the Hurricanes went on a 10-2 run of their own to cut the deficit to a single point at 63-62 with less than seven minutes left.

That’s when Johnson and Williams went to work. Johnson hit a three from the left side, right in front of the Carolina bench, and 35 seconds later followed that up with a three from the right corner. Williams followed suit with two threes in a row that led Miami to call a timeout as Williams emotional hopped around the court showing three fingers to the crowd.

“When you’re emotional, you’re involved,” UNC coach Roy Williams said regarding the Heels’ second half turnaround. “You have to have attitude and enthusiasm to be really good.”

For the second time in two games, Coach Williams said he ranted and raved at the half and the Heels had better second halves.

“We were tougher mentally in the second half than in the first half,” Coach Williams said adding that the Heels kept Miami from hitting threes in the second half. The Canes scored seven threes in the first half against only five two-pointers but were held to two three pointers in the second half.

Coach Williams said the two threes by Johnson, who had been cold from beyond the three-point line over he last couple of games, were “huge” for the Tar Heels. The buckets kept Miami from having the ball with a chance to take a lead. “If he doesn’t make them, the crowd gets into it more and more and more,” Coach Williams said.

Johnson hit five threes during the game and led five double-figure scorers with 22 points. Williams, who had seven assists, scored a season-high 16 points. Coby White had 15, Luke Maye added 13 and Nassir Little chipped in 12.

There with 18 lead changes during the game but the Heels never trailed again after a White lob to Garrison Brooks for a dunk that put Carolina ahead 47-47 with 16:40 left.

The Tar Heels shot 55 percent, including 9 for 20 from behind the three-point line, compared to 49 percent for the Hurricanes. Carolina also had a commanding 38-23 edge in rebounding.

North Carolina moves to 14-4 and 4-1 in the ACC while Miami falls to 9-8 overall and 1-4 in the conference.

The Tar Heels host No. 9 Virginia Tech Monday night.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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Heels clamp down on Notre Dame, win late

North Carolina trailed at the half at home to Notre Dame but clamped down defensively, took a lead with just over six minutes left and never trailed again in beating the Irish 75-69. (1/15) Coming off an ugly loss at home to Louisville, Carolina got an ugly win. “Well, I got my wish,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “I wanted to win one ugly.” The Tar Heels trailed at the half after committing nine turnovers and going nearly six minutes without a basket. Notre Dame scored the last eight points of the first half to take a 36-33 lead. After […]

North Carolina trailed at the half at home to Notre Dame but clamped down defensively, took a lead with just over six minutes left and never trailed again in beating the Irish 75-69. (1/15)

Coming off an ugly loss at home to Louisville, Carolina got an ugly win. “Well, I got my wish,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “I wanted to win one ugly.”

The Tar Heels trailed at the half after committing nine turnovers and going nearly six minutes without a basket. Notre Dame scored the last eight points of the first half to take a 36-33 lead.

After yielding a three to Notre Dame which gave the visitors their largest lead at 39-33, North Carolina turned it around. The Irish had a hard time getting a good look at the basket with the shot clock becoming a factor on several occasions. Meanwhile Carolina started taking care of the ball better on offense, committing only two turnovers over the last 20 minutes.

The Heels caught up on a three by Kenny Williams, who was trailing on the play, to tie it at 45-all. The lead changed hands nine times over the next 10 minutes.

After Coby White drained a three at the end of the shock clock to give UNC a 60-58 lead with 6:19 left, the Heels never trailed again. That shot started a 12-1 run that put the Heels in command at 69-59 with 1:24 left.

Nassir Little, off the bench, gave the Heels an offensive spark with 11 second half points, during a nine-minute span. Brandon Robinson came off the bench in the first half to keep Carolina in the game with three three-pointers.

“We did a terrible job of defending the ball screens in the first half,” Robinson said. “But in the second half, we locked in and did what we had to do to get stops.”

Coach Williams said the Heels played defense “without a brain” in the first half but did much better in the second half. The offense came alive late as well.

“We made some big shots down the stretch,” he said.

White, who fouled out late, led Carolina’s scoring with 17 points. Luke Maye, who didn’t shoot well, nevertheless had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Little and Cam Johnson closed out the double-figure scoring with 11 points each.

John Mooney was Notre Dame’s big man with 16 points and 19 rebounds. However, Carolina outrebounded the Irish 47-36.

North Carolina advances to 13-4 and 3-1 in the ACC while Notre Dame falls to 11-6 overall and 1-3 in the league.

The Tar Heels host Miami Saturday at noon.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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Louisville embarrasses Tar Heels, 83-61

North Carolina seemed discombobulated from the beginning as Louisville hit its first seven shots to roll to a big lead and eventually a 83-62 win in Chapel Hill. (1/12) The Tar Heels were in trouble by the first TV timeout – down by double digits at 18-8 and with their star freshman point guard out of the game with two early fouls. Still down by nine at the half, 43-34, Carolina turned the ball over nine times in the first eight minutes of the second half to thwart any chance to come back. Midway through the second half, UNC trailed […]

North Carolina seemed discombobulated from the beginning as Louisville hit its first seven shots to roll to a big lead and eventually a 83-62 win in Chapel Hill. (1/12)

The Tar Heels were in trouble by the first TV timeout – down by double digits at 18-8 and with their star freshman point guard out of the game with two early fouls.

Still down by nine at the half, 43-34, Carolina turned the ball over nine times in the first eight minutes of the second half to thwart any chance to come back. Midway through the second half, UNC trailed by 18 at 63-45. The lead got as high as 22.

“They hit us early,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “We never really got in the game.”

Coach Williams said the poor effort followed two days of mediocre practices. “We had two nice road wins and then we come back home and don’t have the same kind of enthusiasm,” he said.

The Tar Heels hit just over a third of their shots while the Cardinals hit more than 50 percent. Carolina managed just three of 22 from beyond the three-point line while Louisville hit 11 of 26 threes, including six of the Cardinals’ first nine when running out to a lead.

Carolina was also outrebounded 36-26. “They have long, athletic guys,” Coach Williams said. “But I didn’t think they’d dominate everything inside like that.”

The 21-point loss was the worst home loss by a Roy Williams-coached Carolina team and the third worst defeat by UNC in the Smith Center.

Kenny Williams (12) and Cam Johnson (10) were the only Tar Heels in double figures. Luke Maye, who was a dismal three of 14 from the field, led the Heels in rebounding with 11.

Steven Enoch and Dwayne Sutton led four Cardinals in double figures with 17 points each.

North Carolina falls to 12-4 and 2-1 in the ACC while Louisville, coming off a disappointing loss at home to Pitt, moves to 11-5 overall and 2-1 in the league.

The Tar Heels host Notre Dame Tuesday night.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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Carolina survives adversity to top State, 90-82

North Carolina had some adversity against N.C. State but managed to survive 23 turnovers, some foul trouble and much of the second half without a key starter to defeat N.C. State 90-82 in Raleigh. (1/8) Cam Johnson scored the Tar Heels’ first nine points of the second half to keep the Heels ahead but then he cramped up and didn’t play the rest of the game. Reserves Brandon Robinson and Leaky Black shared the position the rest of the game and made big plays to keep the Wolfpack at bay. The Wolfpack did tie the game at 53 with just […]

North Carolina had some adversity against N.C. State but managed to survive 23 turnovers, some foul trouble and much of the second half without a key starter to defeat N.C. State 90-82 in Raleigh. (1/8)

Cam Johnson scored the Tar Heels’ first nine points of the second half to keep the Heels ahead but then he cramped up and didn’t play the rest of the game.

Reserves Brandon Robinson and Leaky Black shared the position the rest of the game and made big plays to keep the Wolfpack at bay.

The Wolfpack did tie the game at 53 with just under 17 minutes to play on a three by C.J. Bryce and cut a Carolina lead to one at 70-69 midway through the second half.

Robinson drained a three from the left corner to start an 8-0 run that gave Carolina a nine-point advantage. Later, Black popped in a jumper from the free throw line to start a 9-0 run that put the Heels in command by 10 at 79-69.

Black got loose for a dunk in the last minute after State had cut the margin to four to all but wrap it up.

“Our guys answered every challenge,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “Every time they’d make a run, we’d answer it.”

When you look at the final differential, an argument can be made that the Tar Heels won the game in the first three plus minutes of the game as they raced out to a 12-0 lead. The Heels got the lead to 14 before going into the halftime locker room up just 47-42.

“I’m proud of the way my team fought when you think of how we started the game,” Wolfpack coach Kevin Keats said. “I told the guys that when you score 82 points, that should be enough to win a game. But we got beat on 50-50 balls and they outrebounded us.”

They certainly did. Carolina held a commanding 51-33 edge on the boards with Johnson, Luke Maye and Kenny Williams combining for 32 of them.

“In some ways it was one of our better defensive games,” Williams said. “We rebounded the heck out of it.”

Five Tar Heels scored in double figures with Maye’s 21 and Coby White’s 19 leading the way. Johnson and Kenny Williams added 15 each while Garrison Brooks chipped in 11.

Braxton Beverly came off the bench for a career-high 21 points to lead the Pack.

North Carolina moves to 12-3 and 2-0 in the ACC while N.C. State falls to 13-2 and 1-1 in the league.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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Tar Heels, Johnson roll over Pitt, 85-60

UNC’s Cam Johnson, who transferred a couple of years ago from Pittsburgh, withstood the boos and schooled Pitt by scoring 15 points and hauling in nine rebounds en route to an 85-60 romp in the teams’ ACC opener. (1/5) “I know I got a couple of boos but that’s ok,” Johnson said. “I understand.” He said he loved playing in front of “the zoo” and that there are no hard feelings. Johnson stroked three triples in the first part of the game as the boos lessened over time, presumably because it wasn’t working to rattle him. “It’s good to see […]

UNC’s Cam Johnson, who transferred a couple of years ago from Pittsburgh, withstood the boos and schooled Pitt by scoring 15 points and hauling in nine rebounds en route to an 85-60 romp in the teams’ ACC opener. (1/5)

“I know I got a couple of boos but that’s ok,” Johnson said. “I understand.” He said he loved playing in front of “the zoo” and that there are no hard feelings.

Johnson stroked three triples in the first part of the game as the boos lessened over time, presumably because it wasn’t working to rattle him.

“It’s good to see the arena lively,” Johnson said.

UNC coach Roy Williams he liked his team’s poise and composure in light of the fact that the “crowd really did get into it early.”

With the score tied in the first half, a 19-2 UNC run over a six-minute period opened the game up. During that run, Johnson and Coby White, who led the Heels with 22 points, hit threes from the top of the key while senior Luke Maye, who scored 17, drilled one from the right corner in front of the Pitt bench.

Carolina took a commanding 45-23 lead into the half after leading by as many as 24 points.

It never got closer than 22 points in the second half as the Heels worked the lead up to 33 with less than five minutes to play before settling for a 25-point win.

The Tar Heels swarming defense bothered the Panthers as they limited the home team to outside shots, the vast majority of which were missed. Pitt shot only 30.5 percent from the field while the Heels shot 43 percent. Pitt was able to get to the foul line quite a bit but only hit 20 of 32.

North Carolina moves to 11-3 and 1-0 in the ACC while Pitt, coached by former Duke player Jeff Capel, falls to 10-4 and 0-1 in the league.

The Tar Heels travel to N.C. State Tuesday at 9 p.m.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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Heels ho-hum their way to 20-point win

Playing against an inferior Harvard team, the Tar Heels didn’t have to be at their best and they weren’t. Still, North Carolina put five players in double figures en route to a 77-57 win at home, ending non-conference play. (1/2) Carolina scored 21 points off 22 Crimson turnovers to break open a close game. The Tar Heels trailed 20-19 after the first 12 minutes of the game. After going on a 22-11 run over the last eight minutes of the first half, the Heels took control of the game. A 16-1 UNC run in the second half doused any hopes […]

Playing against an inferior Harvard team, the Tar Heels didn’t have to be at their best and they weren’t. Still, North Carolina put five players in double figures en route to a 77-57 win at home, ending non-conference play. (1/2)

Carolina scored 21 points off 22 Crimson turnovers to break open a close game. The Tar Heels trailed 20-19 after the first 12 minutes of the game. After going on a 22-11 run over the last eight minutes of the first half, the Heels took control of the game.

A 16-1 UNC run in the second half doused any hopes that Harvard, playing without two key players who are injured, had of coming back.

UNC coach Roy Williams said his team is nowhere near where he wants them to be. “Not in the same universe, ” he said.

“We have big-time basketball in front of us now,” Coach Williams said as his team starts ACC play at Pittsburgh Saturday. “We’ve got to play better.”

He wants his team to play smarter. At various times he benched Coby White, Garrison Brooks, Luke May and Seventh Woods for what Coach Williams might call “bone-head plays.”

On a positive note, Coach Williams said he liked having five players in double figures and he liked how his team got to the foul line, hitting 19 of 22.

Maye led the Tar Heels with 14 points while White and Cam Johnson scored 13 each. Nassir Little added 12 and Kenny Williams had 11.

North Carolina moves to 10-3 while Harvard, coached by former Duke player Tommy Amaker, fall to 6-6.

For more, including a box score, please click here.

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Heels turn up the heat to burn Davidson

After falling behind Davidson by five points midway through the first half, North Carolina turned up the heat defensively and went on to easily defeat the Wildcats 82-60 in Chapel Hill. (12/29) Down 24-19, UNC went on a 20-4 run with four different Heels scoring to go into the half up 11 at 39-28. A 14-2 Carolina run early in the second half turned the game into a blowout. The largest lead was 26 at 61-35 after Carolina’s Nassir Little drove the lane, splitting defenders, for a layup. Almost half of Davidson’s shots are threes and the Wildcats shot three […]

Nassir Little reacts after a dunk. (UNC Sports Information Photo.)

Nassir Little reacts after a dunk. (UNC Sports Information Photo.)

After falling behind Davidson by five points midway through the first half, North Carolina turned up the heat defensively and went on to easily defeat the Wildcats 82-60 in Chapel Hill. (12/29)

Down 24-19, UNC went on a 20-4 run with four different Heels scoring to go into the half up 11 at 39-28. A 14-2 Carolina run early in the second half turned the game into a blowout.

The largest lead was 26 at 61-35 after Carolina’s Nassir Little drove the lane, splitting defenders, for a layup.

Almost half of Davidson’s shots are threes and the Wildcats shot three dozen in this one but they only hit 26 percent.

“They missed some open shots,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “At times we were good defensively – we closed out on their three-point shooters.”

The defensive intensity sparked the Heels on the offensive end. Carolina players started getting easy chances and drawing some fouls.

The Tar Heels finished with 27 free throw attempts (hitting 22), compared to just 11 (10 made) for Davidson – outscoring the Wildcats from the line by 12 points.

Carolina had five players in double figures with Cam Johnson leading the way with 17 points. Kenny Williams had 12 points and five assists. Luke Maye had 11 points and 14 rebounds while Garrison Brooks had 11 points in just 16 minutes of play. Little closed out the double figure scoring with 10 points.

For more on the game, including analysis and a box score, please click here.

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Tar Heels shoot down Gonzaga, 103-90

North Carolina used hot shooting from outside and buckets inside after offensive rebounds to defeat No. 4 Gonzaga 103-90 in Chapel Hill as the Zags failed to avenge their national championship loss to the Heels. (12/15)

“We are lethal from inside, outside, mid-range, fastbreaks,” said UNC senior Luke Maye, who led the way with 20 points and 16 rebounds. “We have a lot of guys that can knock down shots.”

UNC coach Roy Williams, who has indicated in the past that this could be one of his best shooting teams, said he has been waiting for the Tar Heels to shoot like they should. “I tell them that they shoot the ball very well – why don’t you do it in the games?” he said.

“We took some weird shots but if the ball goes in the basket it makes things look better,” he added.

“We made shots and we rebounded the ball really well.”

Carolina had 27 points off offensive rebounds whereas Gonzaga had none.

But it was the outside shot that dazzled the boisterous crowd. Cam Johnson led the way with 25 points by hitting six of eight three-pointers, several from way out and a couple in key moments.

In the first half, Johnson popped in a three from the right side that gave Carolina its largest lead of the game at 39-22. In the second half, after Gonzaga had cut the deficit to under double digits, Johnson hit a stop and pop three in front of the Carolina bench to push the lead back up to 12 at 81-69.

Johnson all but wrapped up the win with his longest shot of the evening to make it 92-75 as the shot clock was running out with 5:41 left.

As a team the Tar Heels were 13 of 25 from behind the three-point line.

For more on the game, including an analysis and a box score, please click here.
GonzagaJohnson

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Without White, Heels still make UNCW blue

North Carolina, playing without injured starting point guard Coby White, played with more intensity than it did in a loss to Michigan and wore down UNC-Wilmington for a 97-69 home victory. (12/5) Former UNC assistant coach C.B. McGrath’s Seahawks team hung tough for a while, even leading midway through the first half, but a Tar Heel 17-4 lead later in the first half and a 30-3 run in the second half ended any hopes of an upset. North Carolina, which led by nine at the half despite nine turnovers, cranked up the defense, coming up with 13 steals and forcing […]

North Carolina, playing without injured starting point guard Coby White, played with more intensity than it did in a loss to Michigan and wore down UNC-Wilmington for a 97-69 home victory. (12/5)

Former UNC assistant coach C.B. McGrath’s Seahawks team hung tough for a while, even leading midway through the first half, but a Tar Heel 17-4 lead later in the first half and a 30-3 run in the second half ended any hopes of an upset.

North Carolina, which led by nine at the half despite nine turnovers, cranked up the defense, coming up with 13 steals and forcing 25 turnovers. UNC coach Roy Williams said his team played with better effort. “Our guys were more active, sweated more,” he said. “We were better defensively in the second half. Our traps helped us a little bit.”

Seventh Woods, playing point in place of White, scored all seven of his points during the 30-3 clinching run. Carolina was only up by seven when Woods scored seven of the Heels’ next nine points.

Cam Johnson, who scored eight during the run, led the Tar Heels with 21 points. Freshman Nassir Little scored 14 while Luke Maye and Kenny Williams each added 11.

For more coverage of the game, analysis and a box score, please click here.

Cam Johnson scored 21 for the Tar Heels.  (UNC Sports Information photo.)

Cam Johnson scored 21 for the Tar Heels. (UNC Sports Information photo.)

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Coach has “nothing positive to say” after Heels loss at Michigan

UNC coach Roy Williams said he had “nothing positive to say” about his Tar Heels after an 84-67 defeat at Michigan as part of ACC/Big Ten challenge. North Carolina, which led by as many as 10 in the first half, still held a 35-33 lead with a minute left in the half before the Wolverines drained a pair of threes to take a 39-35 lead. Carolina would never lead again. Michigan, which hit 10 of 20 from beyond the three-point line, worked the lead up to 12 at 51-39 by the first TV timeout of the second half. Upset at […]

UNC coach Roy Williams said he had “nothing positive to say” about his Tar Heels after an 84-67 defeat at Michigan as part of ACC/Big Ten challenge.

North Carolina, which led by as many as 10 in the first half, still held a 35-33 lead with a minute left in the half before the Wolverines drained a pair of threes to take a 39-35 lead. Carolina would never lead again.

Michigan, which hit 10 of 20 from beyond the three-point line, worked the lead up to 12 at 51-39 by the first TV timeout of the second half. Upset at his starters, Coach Williams put reserves in for more than four minutes of game action. By the time the starters were put back in, Carolina trailed by 18 at 63-45.

“They (the starters) stunk it up and so did I,” Coach Williams said. “I’ve coached for 31 years – right now my coaching sucks.”

Down 73-51, the Tar Heels did have a little life left as they outscored Michigan 11-0 to cut the lead to 73-62 with 5:27 left. Kenny Williams hit a pair of threes during the run but the Wolverines came right back on a 7-0 run to end any thoughts Carolina had for a comeback.

“This is the most frustrated I’ve ever been,” Coach Williams said, pointing to numerous defensive failures by his team.

For more on the game, including analysis and a box score, please click here.