UNC Archive

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Streaking Heels pull away late to beat Irish

North Carolina, powered by Joel Berry and Theo Pinson in the second half, broke open a close game late as the Heels won their fourth game in a row and their third game in five days with an 83-66 win over Notre Dame. (2/12) Notre Dame came from 10 down to cut the margin to one point at 58-57 with 9:38 left before Berry and Pinson led Carolina on a game-breaking 22-6 run. During the run, Pinson had a couple of highlight reel plays that got the Smith Center hopping. With 6:36 left, Pinson faked defenders with a crossover move […]

North Carolina, powered by Joel Berry and Theo Pinson in the second half, broke open a close game late as the Heels won their fourth game in a row and their third game in five days with an 83-66 win over Notre Dame. (2/12)

Notre Dame came from 10 down to cut the margin to one point at 58-57 with 9:38 left before Berry and Pinson led Carolina on a game-breaking 22-6 run.

During the run, Pinson had a couple of highlight reel plays that got the Smith Center hopping. With 6:36 left, Pinson faked defenders with a crossover move and put one in from high off the glass. After he converted an old-fashioned three-point play, Pinson took a pass from Luke Maye, took the ball up and under and in the basket to put the Heels up 72-63 with five minutes left.

Pinson, on his way to 16 points and 10 rebounds, scored nine points during the run while Berry, on his way to 21 points, scored six.

Notre Dame was stuck on 63 points for more than four minutes as Carolina poured it on.

UNC coach Roy Williams praised Pinson for being so active and Berry for being so tough. Berry, who had a toothache bad enough to see a dentist just four hours before the game, is a “tough nut,” Williams said, with “a bad tooth but a big heart.”

Berry drove to the hoop numerous times during the game, taking the hits going to the basket. He led the Heels to a 38-34 halftime lead as Carolina survived five first-half threes by Notre Dame’s John Mooney, who finished with a season-high 18 points.

The Tar Heels extended the halftime lead to 10 at 56-46 when Berry drove the lane, scored and was fouled.

Three Notre Dame threes cut the margin to one before that 22-6 run that ended with an 80-63 Carolina lead and the starters heading to the bench with 1:13 to go.

Joining Berry and Pinson in double figures for Carolina was Kenny Williams with 14 and Cam Johnson with 13.

Carolina’s leading scorer Luke Maye had an off night scoring, hitting just three of 11 shots. Coach Williams said his players are “a little bit tired” after the third game in five days and that “Luke probably needs rest more than anybody.” Maye was coming off a 33-point, 17-rebound game against NC State.

The Tar Heels, who play at Louisville Saturday night, improve to 20-7 and 9-5 in the ACC while Notre Dame falls to 15-11 and 5-8 in the league.

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

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Maye fuels second-half rally to avenge loss

North Carolina’s Luke Maye almost single-handedly led the Tar Heels to a come-from-behind 96-89 victory at NC State with 27 of his 33 points in the second half. The Tar Heels, trying to avenge an overtime loss to the Wolfpack at home, raced out to a 10-point lead at 28-18 but NC State came back with a 19-0 run to take a 37-28 lead. Carolina scored the last seven points of the first half to trail by just two and set up Maye’s second half heroics. UNC coach Roy Williams, who didn’t call a timeout during the stretch, said his […]

North Carolina’s Luke Maye almost single-handedly led the Tar Heels to a come-from-behind 96-89 victory at NC State with 27 of his 33 points in the second half.

The Tar Heels, trying to avenge an overtime loss to the Wolfpack at home, raced out to a 10-point lead at 28-18 but NC State came back with a 19-0 run to take a 37-28 lead.

Carolina scored the last seven points of the first half to trail by just two and set up Maye’s second half heroics.

UNC coach Roy Williams, who didn’t call a timeout during the stretch, said his club gave in to a little diversity but he was please the Heels cut it to two at the half.

“I felt pretty good at the half because we hadn’t played very well at all and were just down two,” he said.

The Tar Heels hit seven of their first eight shots of the second half to get out to a 50-44 lead. Maye scored 11 points on five of those shots. A tip by Maye during the run put Carolina up (41-40) for the first time since the eight-minute mark of the first half.

“I came out in the second half aggressive and I was making shots,” Maye said. “I have to come out and play better in the first half.”

Carolina led throughout the rest of the game even though the Pack cut it to two or three several times. Alleric Freeman, who killed the Heels in Chapel Hill, banged in a three to cut the UNC lead to 67-65 with 7:52 left.

But once again Maye took over as he scored the Tar Heels’ next 10 points to create a little breathing room at 77-70.

The Pack didn’t go away however and an old-fashioned three-point dunk and foul play by Abdul-Malik Abu pulled the home team to within two at 85-83 with 1:34 to go.

UNC’s Kenny Williams, who was the hero against Duke but held scoreless in the first half of this one, all but wrapped it up as he side-stepped a defender and swished a three with 1:12 to go to get the cushion back up to five at 88-83.

It never got closer than four the rest of the way as the Tar Heels hit six free throws in the last 37 seconds.

Both teams scored and shot well, with both teams well over 50 percent for the game. But Carolina shot an amazing 78 percent while scoring 61 points in the second half.

All starters for both teams scored in double figures. Torin Dorn led six Pack players in double figures with 21 points.

In addition to Maye’s 33 points and 17 rebounds, Joel Berry added 16, Cam Johnson contributed 13 and Theo Pinson and Kenny Williams each scored 11.

The Tar Heels, who play their third game in five days at home against Notre Dame, improve to 19-7 and 8-5 in the ACC while State falls to 19-9 and 6-6 in the ACC.

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

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Carolina takes care of the ball and rival Duke

North Carolina, which tied a school record for fewest turnovers in a game, came from 12 down to take control in the second half and defeat rival Duke 82-78. The Tar Heels, underdogs at home, survived a 14-4 Blue Devil run in the first half and a five-minute scoring drought in the second half. UNC coach Roy Williams pointed to his team’s assist-to-turnover (15 assists, two turnovers) ratio as a key. “We didn’t shoot exceptionally well but we scored when we needed to,” Coach Williams said. “Except for a stretch of five or six minutes where we didn’t score, we […]

North Carolina, which tied a school record for fewest turnovers in a game, came from 12 down to take control in the second half and defeat rival Duke 82-78.

The Tar Heels, underdogs at home, survived a 14-4 Blue Devil run in the first half and a five-minute scoring drought in the second half.

UNC coach Roy Williams pointed to his team’s assist-to-turnover (15 assists, two turnovers) ratio as a key. “We didn’t shoot exceptionally well but we scored when we needed to,” Coach Williams said. “Except for a stretch of five or six minutes where we didn’t score, we played exceptionally well in the second half.”

Having cut a 40-28 deficit to just four at 49-45 at the half, the Tar Heels stormed out of the locker room to outscore the Devils 16-2 to take control at 61-51.

During that run, where the Heels scored on seven straight possessions, Kenny Williams and Joel Berry hit back-to-back long three pointers.

Williams, who tied a career-high 20 points, hit six of 12 threes while Cam Johnson, the transfer from Pitt, hit four of eight three pointers. Johnson, who scored 18 points, added a career-high 13 rebounds.

Rebounding was a big difference in the second half as the Tar Heels went from a five-rebound deficit in the first half to a six-rebound advantage for the game. Carolina picked up 15 offensive rebounds which helped control the clock a bit late when the Tar Heels were having trouble scoring.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said the story of the second half was the 15 offensive rebounds for Carolina. “It showed how hard they were going after it,” Coach K said of the Heels.

During the biggest drought, Duke cut a nine-point Carolina lead to just two at 74-71 with under five minutes to go. The Tar Heels had missed 13 field goal attempts in a row before Johnson drained a three from the left wing to put Carolina up 77-71 with 3:07 to play.

Berry added a couple of free throws to give the Heels a 79-71 cushion with 2:29 to go.

The Tar Heels had a couple of chances to wrap it up but Theo Pinson missed a dunk and Williams missed a contested layup, opening the door for Duke.

A Marvin Bagley dunk pulled Duke to 79-75 with 34 seconds to go. A Berry free throw and a flying dunk straight down the lane by Pinson with 12 seconds to go wrapped it up.

Joining Williams and Johnson in double figures were Berry, who scored 21 despite missing seven of eight threes, and Luke Maye who added 15.

Pinson, the other starter, only scored four points but he hauled in seven rebounds, dished out four assists, and had two steals and a block.

Gary Trent led Duke with 16 points while Bagley added 15 points and 13 rebounds.

The Tar Heels, who travel to N.C. State Saturday, improve to 18-7 and 7-5 in the league while Duke, who have lost two in a row, falls to 19-5 and 7-4 in the ACC.

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

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Heels end losing skid against last-place Pitt

The tension surrounding North Carolina’s basketball eased a bit as the Tar Heels ran past Pittsburgh 96-65 in Chapel Hill. Six Carolina players scored in double figures but the biggest lift may have come from a player who scored just two points. Theo Pinson, who was injured against Clemson, returned to the lineup and led the Heels in rebounding with 13 and in assists with eight, while turning the ball over just once. “He is 1 for 7 (shooting), and he is one of the most important players in the game,” UNC coach Roy Williams said pointing to his rebounds, […]

The tension surrounding North Carolina’s basketball eased a bit as the Tar Heels ran past Pittsburgh 96-65 in Chapel Hill.

Six Carolina players scored in double figures but the biggest lift may have come from a player who scored just two points. Theo Pinson, who was injured against Clemson, returned to the lineup and led the Heels in rebounding with 13 and in assists with eight, while turning the ball over just once.

“He is 1 for 7 (shooting), and he is one of the most important players in the game,” UNC coach Roy Williams said pointing to his rebounds, assists. “That’s what we need him to do.”

The Tar Heels also got a lift from Luke Maye, who scored only four points in the loss at Clemson. Maye led all scorers with 26 points, going three of five from the three-point line and five of five from the free throw line.

“Shot free throws better. Shot it from three a lot better,” Maye said. “It was a lot better performance. It is a lot better when the ball goes in the basket.”

Carolina broke open a close game with a 14-3 run late in the first half to take a 45-35 halftime lead. The Heels poured it on in the second half as their defense held the Panthers to just 30 percent shooting in the half. The win stopped a three-game losing streak and avoided what would have only been the second four-game losing streak for the Heels during the Roy Williams era.

“When we play hard and play together, we are a very dangerous team,” Pinson said. “That’s something we lost a little bit in January so we just needed to pick that up and we did a good job of that.”

Coach Williams said his team’s emphasis for the game revolved around defense, rebounding on both ends of the court and making more of an effort. “Our guys around here, you lose a couple and they start to feel the pressure because they are such good kids,” he said. “I think we were tight early, and we missed some shots… You lose yourself yourself in the game by diving onto the floor, sprinting back, and all of sudden things get easier for you.”

In addition to Maye’s 26 points, those scoring in double figures were Kenny Williams with 15, Cam Johnson with 14, Joel Berry with 12, Garrison Brooks with 10 and Sterling Manley with 10.

The Tar Heels, who host rival Duke Thursday night, improve to 17-7 and 6-5 in the league while Pitt, in the midst of an 11-game losing streak, falls to 8-16 and 0-11 in the ACC.

For a box score and more on the game, including information about Johnson playing his former team, please click here.

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Tar Heels lose their third straight game as Tigers drain 3s

North Carolina lost its third straight game as Clemson broke a 10-game losing streak to the Tar Heels as the Tigers drained 15 threes on the way to an 82-78 victory. (1/30) Clemson, which averages eight three pointers a game, hit 10 in the first half on its way to a 16-point halftime lead at 44-28. Carolina got back in it with a 13-1 run which pulled the Tar Heels within three at 52-49 with 11:19 left. It looked as if it might get closer than that but UNC’s Brandon Robinson, who was fouled shooting a three, could manage only […]

North Carolina lost its third straight game as Clemson broke a 10-game losing streak to the Tar Heels as the Tigers drained 15 threes on the way to an 82-78 victory. (1/30)

Clemson, which averages eight three pointers a game, hit 10 in the first half on its way to a 16-point halftime lead at 44-28.

Carolina got back in it with a 13-1 run which pulled the Tar Heels within three at 52-49 with 11:19 left. It looked as if it might get closer than that but UNC’s Brandon Robinson, who was fouled shooting a three, could manage only one of three free throws.

The Tigers stretched the lead back up 10 at 70-60 with 5:53 left before the Heels went on another run. Joel Berry led a 14-4 run capped by a short jumper in the lane which tied it at 74-all with 2:02 left.

But Clemson lived by the three as Marcquis Reed drained an open shot with 1:40 left to give the lead back to the Tigers for good at 77-74. Following an ill-advised off-balanced shot by UNC’s Cam Johnson, Elijah Thomas scored inside at the other end to give Clemson a five-point cushion with 28 seconds left.

Berry hit a long step-back two that kept Carolina in with 16 seconds left but Clemson, who went to the line an amazing 27 times, hit free throws to wrap it up.

Johnson was brilliant most of the game as he ended with a career-high 32 points while Berry had 27. Luke Maye, who normally leads the scoring, scored just four points on the night, shooting just one shot in the second half.

“Joel and Cam, that was our offense,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “Our team is best when it’s four, five or six guys scoring.”

But it was the Tigers hitting half of their three-point shots that most concerns Coach Williams. “I’ve got no answers,” Coach Williams said about his team’s inability to defend the three-point line. “I’ve never emphasized something more in my entire life.”

The Tar Heels, who play at home Saturday night against Pittsburgh, fall to 16-7 and 5-5 in the league while Clemson falls to 18-4 overall and 7-3 in the ACC.

UNC’s Theo Pinson, who didn’t score, injured his shoulder and hip on a bad fall in the first half and did not return. The injury is not believed to be serious. What is serious are supposed coming charges against Jalek Felton, who has been suspended from the school. With Seven Woods still out injured, the reeling Tar Heels are shorthanded.

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

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Freeman leads State over Carolina in OT

NC State hit 15 three pointers, including seven of seven from Allerik Freeman, to upset North Carolina 95-91 in overtime in Chapel Hill. (1/27) While there were 10 ties and nine lead changes, the Tar Heels led about 15 of the 20 minutes in the second half and were six points up with 6:30 to go. A pair of threes by State, one by Braxton Beverly and one by Freeman, tied the score as Luke Maye and Joel Berry missed free throws for Carolina. UNC got back in front but the Wolfpack’s Torin Dorn drained a three with 1:31 to […]

NC State hit 15 three pointers, including seven of seven from Allerik Freeman, to upset North Carolina 95-91 in overtime in Chapel Hill. (1/27)

While there were 10 ties and nine lead changes, the Tar Heels led about 15 of the 20 minutes in the second half and were six points up with 6:30 to go.

A pair of threes by State, one by Braxton Beverly and one by Freeman, tied the score as Luke Maye and Joel Berry missed free throws for Carolina.

UNC got back in front but the Wolfpack’s Torin Dorn drained a three with 1:31 to tie it. Berry had a chance to give Carolina the lead with 40 seconds left but a driving layup rimmed out. State’s Markell Johnson took advantage with a drive of his own that gave the Pack an 83-81 lead with 11 seconds left.

UNC’s Cam Johnson was fouled with four seconds to go and hit both free throws to send the game into overtime.

But the Tar Heels turned the ball over five times in overtime. State took the lead at 88-85 on Freeman’s seventh three pointer and the Tar Heels, despite a pair of three pointers by Maye, never tied or led again.

“I don’t know what’s lacking,” said UNC’s Theo Pinson, who had a career high 22 points and 15 rebounds but missed two key free throws in overtime. “We just didn’t make the plays at the end like we normally do.”

It briefly looked like it might be one of those Carolina comebacks that have spoiled Tar Heels fan since the days of Coach Dean Smith. After Maye, who led the Heels with 31 points, drained a high arching three with 6.7 seconds left, UNC’s Kenny Williams knocked the ball away on the inbounds and freshman Sterling Manley came up with it. But he played hot potato with it and quickly gave it right back to the Pack with three seconds left.

“He’s a freshman. He panicked a little,” said UNC coach Roy Williams, who placed blame for the loss on several factors.

For one, he thought the Pack got too many open looks as they went 15 of 20 beyond the arc. And then, Carolina didn’t shoot well as the Heels were just four of 19 from three-point land and 11 of 20 from the free throw line.

“We’ve been a good free throw shooting team but we missed opportunities there today, no question,” Coach Williams said. “And we’ve got to shoot better.”

Execution down the stretch was lacking, he said, as the Heels turned the ball over and failed to box out, especially on one play late in overtime. With the Pack leading 89-88, State missed and Carolina had three men under the basket ready for the rebound but no one boxed out Omer Yuriseven, who hauled it in and scored to put the Wolfpack up 91-88 with 31 seconds left.

It’s the second straight ACC loss for the Tar Heels, who fall to 5-4 in the league. While the losses are mounting up, Coach Williams said he just wants his team to play better at this point. “I’m not ready to panic and abandon ship,” he said.

The Tar Heels, now 16-6 overall, play at Clemson Tuesday night. The Wolfpack, led by Freeman’s career-high 29 points, improves to 15-7 and 5-4 in the ACC. “I think these guys are learning how to fight,” NC State coach Kevin Keatts said, “and I think they’re learning how to compete.”

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

(UNC Sports Information Photo.)

(UNC Sports Information Photo.)

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Virginia Tech frustrates, upsets tired Heels

North Carolina looked tired and frustrated as Virginia Tech pulled an 80-69 upset on its home court. (1/22) The Tar Heels were coming off four straight ACC wins, including one just two days earlier, and had beaten the Hokies seven times in a row. But the Heels were cold and Virginia Tech was more aggressive, even outrebounding Carolina – something that’s been unusual this season. “They were much more aggressive physically and mentally,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “They were more into it. Their sense of urgency was greater than ours.” Coach Williams blamed himself for the loss – sort […]

North Carolina looked tired and frustrated as Virginia Tech pulled an 80-69 upset on its home court. (1/22)

The Tar Heels were coming off four straight ACC wins, including one just two days earlier, and had beaten the Hokies seven times in a row. But the Heels were cold and Virginia Tech was more aggressive, even outrebounding Carolina – something that’s been unusual this season.

“They were much more aggressive physically and mentally,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “They were more into it. Their sense of urgency was greater than ours.”

Coach Williams blamed himself for the loss – sort of. “It’s been strange as I’m spending too much time coaching energy level. But I’ve got to do a better job,” he said.

He mentioned that he had three tired signals come from players at the same time. “I guess I haven’t done a good enough job running their butts to get them in shape,” Coach Williams said.

Other than the Hokies outrebounding the Heels by one, there were other problems. Virginia Tech outscored Carolina 32-26 in the lane. The Hokies scored 11 points off rebounds in the second half compared to none for the Heels. And Carolina only got to the line five times, hitting all five free throws.

The shooting woes came from the field as Carolina threw up almost as many three pointers as two pointers – and the Heels didn’t shoot either well. The Heels hit 10 of 31 threes and 17 of 32 twos.

Luke Maye and Joel Berry were about the only offense the Heels had as each scored 23 points. No one else scored more than five.

The Tar Heels led by as many as seven in the first half at 21-14 but the Hokies used a 9-0 run at the end of the half to take a commanding 39-32 advantage at the half.

Twice in the second half the Tar Heels cut the lead to two – once at 42-40 following a Berry three from the top of the key and once at 48-46 on a fast break basket by Jalek Felton following a UNC steal.

But Virginia Tech went on a 16-5 run to go up 64-51 with 7:45 left. It never got closer than eight the rest of the way as the Hokies upped the advantage to as much as 16 points.

Carolina, which hosts NC State Saturday, falls to 16-5 overall and 5-3 in the ACC while Virginia Tech improves to 14-6 and 3-4 in the conference.

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

(UNC Sports Information Photo.)

(UNC Sports Information Photo.)

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Pinson, Heels keep Yellow Jackets at bay

North Carolina’s Theo Pinson recorded the second double-double of his career and helped keep Georgia Tech at bay as the Tar Heels won 80-66 at home. (1/20) Pinson, who scored 11 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, helped Carolina recover from an early five-point deficit with a three pointer from the right corner followed by a driving dunk to put the Heels back up. After a 10-0 Georgia Tech run, Pinson righted the ship with a fast break layup following a steal and a nifty assist to Sterling Manley who dunked it through to help Carolina to a 35-28 halftime […]

North Carolina’s Theo Pinson recorded the second double-double of his career and helped keep Georgia Tech at bay as the Tar Heels won 80-66 at home. (1/20)

Pinson, who scored 11 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, helped Carolina recover from an early five-point deficit with a three pointer from the right corner followed by a driving dunk to put the Heels back up.

After a 10-0 Georgia Tech run, Pinson righted the ship with a fast break layup following a steal and a nifty assist to Sterling Manley who dunked it through to help Carolina to a 35-28 halftime lead.

After the Jackets cut a 15-point Carolina lead to just five midway through the second half, Cam Johnson used a screen to drive in for a layup and Joel Berry scored on a long pass upcourt from Pinson. During that 12-5 stretch, Pinson also tied up a GT defender to give the ball back to Carolina on alternate possessions.

“Theo was really something,” said UNC coach Roy Williams. who was otherwise upset with Carolina’s 10 first-half turnovers and their mediocre shooting effort (42 percent).

“Hopefully we’ll shoot the ball better,” he said. “I think we’re as good a shooting team as I’ve ever had.”

Pinson said every game isn’t going to be pretty. “But we have to find ways to win games,” he said. Pinson said that since the losses at Florida State and Virginia, he has committed himself to being in attack mode all the time.

Carolina certainly attacked the rim and that proved the difference as the Heels outrebounded the Jackets 46-25 and scored 26 second-chance points.

A 15-7 run early in the second half, highlighted by six Luke Maye points including four off offensive rebounds, pushed the Carolina lead to a game-high 15 points at 52-37.

Despite three triples by GT’s Jose Alvarado, Carolina was able to stay up by hitting free throws down the stretch. UNC was 19 of 24 from the line compared to just three of six for the Yellow Jackets.

Alvarado drew the ire of the crowd and helped stymie a Georgia Tech run when he picked up person foul by slamming Berry to the ground and an unsportsmanlike technical by stepping over him unnecessarily. Berry hit three of the subsequent four free throws with 3:20 to go to put the Heels up by 11 and it never got closer.

Maye led the Heels with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Berry, who hit only three of 17 shots, got a slew of free throws to finish with 16 points. Johnson also added 16 points while Pinson was the fourth and final Tar Heel in double figures with 11 points.

Carolina improves to 16-4 overall and 5-2 in the ACC while Georgia Tech falls to 10-9 and 3-3 in the conference.

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

Theo Pinson on defense. (UNC Sports Information photo.)

Theo Pinson on defense. (UNC Sports Information photo.)

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Berry’s late FTs cap UNC’s game-winning run

Trailing 66-60, North Carolina held homestanding Notre Dame without a field goal for nearly six minutes. But it took a pair of free throws by Joel Berry with seconds left to lift the Tar Heels to a key 69-68 victory. (1/13) Playing without top scorers Bonzie Colson and Matt Ferrell, the Irish almost pulled it out at the end but a follow shot at the buzzer by T.J. Gibbs fell off the rim. “We did a decent job defensively the last five or six minutes,” said UNC coach Roy Williams who said he possibly felt the luckiest he’s ever felt. […]

Trailing 66-60, North Carolina held homestanding Notre Dame without a field goal for nearly six minutes. But it took a pair of free throws by Joel Berry with seconds left to lift the Tar Heels to a key 69-68 victory. (1/13)

Playing without top scorers Bonzie Colson and Matt Ferrell, the Irish almost pulled it out at the end but a follow shot at the buzzer by T.J. Gibbs fell off the rim.

“We did a decent job defensively the last five or six minutes,” said UNC coach Roy Williams who said he possibly felt the luckiest he’s ever felt. “At the end, we did a good job defensively on his original shot but we didn’t box him out and he got another shot.”

Notre Dame players and fans immediately seemed deflated and frustrated while Carolina just seemed relieved. Coach Williams said he felt ‘befuddled” and “dumbfounded” that his team came out with the win.

It played out like an ACC Tournament game as each possession seemed to mean a lot as there were 23 lead changes and nine ties during the game.

Despite Coach Williams’ frustration, his Tar Heels did come through in the clutch as they outscored the Irish 9-2 over the last 5:52.

Joel Berry started the run with a driving layup and freshman Garrison Brooks followed that play up with a basket as he cut through the lane for a short push shot to draw the Heels within a bucket at 66-64 with 5:12 left.

Neither team could score over the next two minutes but UNC’s Luke Maye got loose for an uncontested dunk on a set play to tie the score at 66 with 2:05 to go.

With 1:32 left, Maye hit one of two free throws – the first missing everything – to put Carolina back up 67-66.

The Tar Heels had a chance to extend the lead when Theo Pinson drew a charge on Gibbs with 1:05 left. But with the shot clock running down, Johnson missed badly from the baseline and Kenny Williams fouled out trying to get the rebound.

Gibbs subsequently hit both ends of a one-and-one to give the Irish the lead at 68-67 with just 37 seconds left.

Berry lost the handle on the ball and was tied up for a jump ball, possession Carolina, with 11 seconds left but only four seconds left on the shot clock. Berry inbounded the ball to Sterling Manley who had to take a wild, off-balanced shot that Berry caught and put up in one motion.

He hit the rim with the ball as he was fouled by Gibbs.

With seven seconds left, Berry calmly hit two free throws for the lead, which held up.

Maye led the Heels with 18 points, followed by Berry who scored 15. Pinson, who headlined a key 11-2 run midway through the second half with seven of those points, finished the game with 13 points.

Carolina improves to 14-4 overall and 3-2 in the ACC while Notre Dame falls to 13-5 and 3-2 in the conference.

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

Defense was key for North Carolina down the stretch. (UNC Sports Information Photo.)

Defense was key for North Carolina down the stretch. (UNC Sports Information Photo.)

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Coach Williams, if you’re going to put in the reserves, LET THEM PLAY

With about 15 seconds left against Boston College, and seldom-used Tar Heels on the floor, UNC Coach Roy Williams told his players to hold the ball and not shoot. I’ve said it before but this is probably my biggest pet peeve about Coach Williams. As a former “scrub” coming in to mob up myself in junior high, I would want a chance to score or get an assist or do something. It’s not really running up the score when you have guys out there who don’t play in every game and average maybe 30 seconds a game. Come on coach, […]

With about 15 seconds left against Boston College, and seldom-used Tar Heels on the floor, UNC Coach Roy Williams told his players to hold the ball and not shoot.

I’ve said it before but this is probably my biggest pet peeve about Coach Williams. As a former “scrub” coming in to mob up myself in junior high, I would want a chance to score or get an assist or do something.

It’s not really running up the score when you have guys out there who don’t play in every game and average maybe 30 seconds a game. Come on coach, let ’em play. It’s fun for the players and the fans, and stopping the fun is not going to endear you with opposing coaches. They know they aren’t your starters or even backups. Let ’em play!

These hard-working reserves need special memories of their own.

(Pictured above: Coach Roy Williams, after telling his seldom-used reserves to stand on the court until the game ends, shakes hands with BC coach Jim Christian before the game is over. It’s fine to show respect for opponents and taking out the regulars already does that. But show respect for your reserves too please. Let them play.)