Even Pittsburgh gets happy at Carolina

Pittsburgh had never won in Chapel Hill. Pittsburgh had lost 22 straight road games in the ACC. But even Pittsburgh got fat and happy after coming from nine down at the half to defeat a struggling North Carolina team 73-65. The Tar Heels were looking better than they had in recent games after Brandon Robinson hit a three-pointer with 3:24 left in the first half to give the home team a 32-18 lead. Carolina still led 37-28 at the half but the Panthers dominated the Heels in the second half, hitting eight three pointers, including four in a row, to […]

Pittsburgh had never won in Chapel Hill. Pittsburgh had lost 22 straight road games in the ACC. But even Pittsburgh got fat and happy after coming from nine down at the half to defeat a struggling North Carolina team 73-65.

The Tar Heels were looking better than they had in recent games after Brandon Robinson hit a three-pointer with 3:24 left in the first half to give the home team a 32-18 lead.

Carolina still led 37-28 at the half but the Panthers dominated the Heels in the second half, hitting eight three pointers, including four in a row, to take a lead and pull away at the end.

During a four-minute period, from the 14-minute mark to the 10-minute mark, Justin Champagnie hit four straight three pointers to put Pitt up 54-53. The Panthers never trailed again.

The Tar Heels, still without point guard Cole Anthony, have lost seven of their last nine games.

“I’m mad, I’m sad, I’m ticked off but we’re going to go to practice and get better,” UNC coach Roy Williams said.

“When things go bad, they continue to go bad. We’ve got to find a way out of the rut.”

Pittsburgh scored 12 points off 10 Carolina turnovers in the second half alone but the Tar Heels still had a chance, down just four on two occasions after the last TV timeout.

Late in the game, Garrison Brooks, who set Carolina records hitting 17 of 18 free throws, missed back-to-back free throws. Then Jeremiah Francis badly missed a wide-open three with 1:35 left than would have cut the lead to just one point.

To put it mildly, Francis is struggling. He went one of eight from the floor against Georgia Tech and one of nine in this game.

Brooks led the Tar Heels with 21 points and 10 rebounds while the other big guy Armando Bacot scored 15 points.

“You can see from the numbers that we need to get the ball into those guys more,” Coach Williams said.

Robinson rounded out the double-figure Carolina scorers with 13 points.

Trey McGowens led Pittsburgh, now 11-4 overall and 2-2 in the ACC, with 24 points.

The Tar Heels, now 8-7 overall and 1-3 in the ACC, host Clemson Saturday. The Tigers have never won in Chapel Hill.

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