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.