UNC’s Black gets redemption with game winner

North Carolina’s Leaky Black banked in a running jumper with nine seconds left and the Tar Heels held on to defeat Notre Dame 66-65 in Chapel Hill for their first ACC victory of the season. (1/2) “Leaky stunk it up on the next to the last possession,” UNC coach Roy Williams said referring to Black allowing his man to get by for a go-ahead layup for Notre Dame. “I told him in the huddle, ‘you just made a bad play. Now go make a great one.'” After Black’s bucket, the Irish got a shot off that was short and the […]

North Carolina’s Leaky Black banked in a running jumper with nine seconds left and the Tar Heels held on to defeat Notre Dame 66-65 in Chapel Hill for their first ACC victory of the season. (1/2)

“Leaky stunk it up on the next to the last possession,” UNC coach Roy Williams said referring to Black allowing his man to get by for a go-ahead layup for Notre Dame. “I told him in the huddle, ‘you just made a bad play. Now go make a great one.'”

After Black’s bucket, the Irish got a shot off that was short and the ball bounced around until the clock expired. After losing two winnable games to N.C. State and Georgia Tech, Coach Williams said, “it’s a great feeling right now, no question.”

The Tar Heels survived shooting just 34 percent from the floor – their worst outing of the year – and what Coach Williams called “some dumb, dumb things.”

Most of those dumb things came on the defensive end where the Tar Heels allowed three layups late in the game.

While Black was the hero at the end, the best player throughout the game was UNC freshman Day’ron Sharpe who scored a season-high 25 points including points that four times gave the Heels a lead. His dunk after a nifty pass from senior Garrison Brooks with 1:32 left gave Carolina a 64-63 lead.

There were 17 lead changes during the game. Notre Dame led by as many as seven points, including a 57-50 lead in the second half, while the Tar Heels never led by more than three.

A 9-0 Carolina run, highlighted by six straight points inside by Sharpe, put the Heels up 59-57. It went back and forth until Black hit the winning shot.

“Day’ron was very active,” Coach Williams said. “He a load around the basket… He was a man in there.”

Carolina freshmen accounted for 50 of the team’s 66 points. Kerwin Walton, who earned a start, hit four three pointers as he was the only other Tar Heel in double figures with 12 points.

Explaining Walton’s increase in playing time, Coach Williams said, “we need somebody else who can put the ball in the basket.”

Notre Dame, 3-6 and 0-3 in the league, was led by Nate Laszewski’s 25 points as the 6-foot-10 junior hit seven of 11 three pointers.

The Tar Heels, now 6-4 overall and 1-2 in the conference, plays at Miami Tuesday. The Notre Dame game was substituted after Syracuse backed out of the scheduled game because of a positive COVID-19 test.

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