Shorthanded Heels can’t overcome Irish 3s

North Carolina, down three players – two of them to COVID protocols, missed opportunities and couldn’t overcome 13 three-pointers by Notre Dame as the Irish defeated the Tar Heels 78-73 in South Bend. (1/5) “We gave them too many open threes,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said “Just too many open looks. We didn’t get up on their shooters, which was opposite what we practiced.” Notre Dame started to pull away in the first half with a 12-2 run (half of the points came from three) that broke a 17-all tie. But the Tar Heels, behind Armando Bacot’s 13 first-half points, […]

North Carolina, down three players – two of them to COVID protocols, missed opportunities and couldn’t overcome 13 three-pointers by Notre Dame as the Irish defeated the Tar Heels 78-73 in South Bend. (1/5)

“We gave them too many open threes,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said “Just too many open looks. We didn’t get up on their shooters, which was opposite what we practiced.”

Notre Dame started to pull away in the first half with a 12-2 run (half of the points came from three) that broke a 17-all tie. But the Tar Heels, behind Armando Bacot’s 13 first-half points, pulled to within four at 39-35.

In the second half, it was more of the same from Notre Dame as Ryan and Wesley hit back-to-back threes 25 seconds apart to give the Irish their biggest lead at 56-43.

After UNC’s Anthony Harris hit a three from the left corner, the Tar Heels trailed by just five at 56-51 but they went four minutes without a basket and fell behind 64-56 with less than eight minutes to go.

But Carolina turned it around with an 11-2 run which ended with a Caleb Love running scoop shot and a Bacot a backing layup to go up 67-66 with 3:28 to go.

Nate Laszewski, who led four Notre Dame players in double figures with 20, hit his fifth and sixth three-pointers in seven attempts to put the Irish right back up to five with less than two minutes left.

Carolina had some chances down the stretch but put up a forced shot, fouled, missed a layup and missed a pair of threes as the Irish were able to hold on.

“Frustrating,” Coach Davis said. “We came from 13 own and were able to take the lead but then we didn’t executive. We weren’t consistent throughout the game.”

Bacot led the Heels with 21 points while R.J. Davis added 19 and Love contributed 15 points, including 13 in the second half.

The Tar Heels were playing without starter Dawson Garcia, key shooter off the bench Kerwin Walton and Justin McKoy. Carolina suited only eight scholarship players and primarily played only six of them.

North Carolina, now 10-4 and 2-1 in the ACC, hosts Virginia Saturday at 1 p.m. Notre Dame improves to 8-5 overall and 2-1 in the ACC.

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