Hello, goodbye Cole Anthony; leads Heels with 34 points

Cole Anthony, we hardly knew ye. If any North Carolina fans thought the highly regarded freshman might stay for two years, they don’t now after Anthony torched Notre Dame for 34 points, the most ever by a player in his Carolina debut, en route to a 76-65 Tar Heel win. The home opener wasn’t easy though as Carolina trailed the Irish with 13 minutes to play. That’s when Anthony took over the game with everyone in light blue’s approval. Anthony drilled a three from the top of the key to tie the score at 46-all and less than a minute […]

Cole Anthony, we hardly knew ye. If any North Carolina fans thought the highly regarded freshman might stay for two years, they don’t now after Anthony torched Notre Dame for 34 points, the most ever by a player in his Carolina debut, en route to a 76-65 Tar Heel win.

The home opener wasn’t easy though as Carolina trailed the Irish with 13 minutes to play. That’s when Anthony took over the game with everyone in light blue’s approval.

Anthony drilled a three from the top of the key to tie the score at 46-all and less than a minute later popped in a jumper off a screen to put the Tar Heels on top for good.

A 22-6 run over five minutes of play, highlighted by 11 Anthony points and a big three by Andrew Platek from the right wing, allowed the Heels to take control of the game. Platek also delivered a fast break alley-oop pass to freshman Armando Bacot, who dunked it for a 65-52 lead with just over eight minutes to go.

The largest lead of the game came at 73-57 with four minutes left after back-to-back threes by Anthony.

“Cole was pretty impressive in the second half,” UNC coach Roy Williams said nonetheless lamenting that he can’t be the only player to make a shot and get a rebound.

“We have to have other guys to step up,” he added.

Junior Garrison Brooks, the only returning starter, scored 10 points and added nine rebounds in 39 minutes of play but Coach Williams said he “didn’t have a great game.” He was the only other Tar Heel in double figures.

Anthony bested Rashad McCant’s 28 first-game points and is the first Tar Heel freshman to score at least 30 points and haul in at least 10 rebounds since Tyler Hansbrough had 40 points and 10 rebounds against Georgia Tech in 2006.

Anthony said it was “an honor” to be part of Tar Heel lore but he added that “it’s a long season and we have a lot more work to do.”

He was upset that he turned the ball over four times and that he didn’t defend as well as he could.

No Tar Heel defended much late in the first half when Notre Dame went on a 12-2 run over less than three minutes’ time to go up 28-23. While the Heels led by as many as nine in the first half, they trailed the Irish 31-30 at the break.

Prentiss Hubb led the Fighting Irish with 22 points.

It was the first time the Tar Heels started a season with a conference game since 1967. The 1-0 Tar Heels travel to UNC-Wilmington Friday night.

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