Category Archives: UNC

Blue Devils score six straight late to beat UNC

In a close rivalry game late, North Carolina failed to score over the last 3:57 while Duke scored the last six points of the game to beat the Tar Heels 63-57 in Durham. (2/4)

It was actually a close game throughout as Carolina led by as many as seven in the first half while Duke led by as many as six in the second half.

Duke’s defense was the difference as the Devils held the Heels to just 25 points in the second half on 28.5 percent shooting and they blocked 11 Carolina shots. Dereck Lively, the Duke freshman, had eight of those blocks to go along with a game-high 14 rebounds.

“I was proud of our team for being ready to compete,” Duke coach Jon Scheyer of his young team. “(Freshman) Dereck Lively just changed the game with his rim protection.”

UNC coach Hubert Davis also heaped praise on Lively.

“Lively blocks and alters shots better than anyone in the country,” Coach Davis said. “Duke is really good defensively. But we have 150 more free throws than anyone in the conference. I have a hard time believing that we only got to the free throw line three times and not once in the second half.”

Yet Carolina was still in throughout. In fact, the Tar Heels held a 50-49 lead with 9:11 left after R.J. Davis drained a step-back three. After a dunk follow by Lively with 8:44 to go, the Heels never led again.

Carolina tied to score three times – first on a three from the left corner by Leaky Black, then on a driving scoop shot by Caleb Love and finally on a turnaround jumper by Pete Nance on his only bucket of the game.

But, while the Heels had several opportunities to take a lead, they failed miserably turning the ball over or missing badly on three-point attempts. Carolina missed its last five shots and was only one of its last nine from the floor.

Carolina seemed relegated to outside shots in the second half as Armando Bacot was only able to get four shots off in the second half.

“We had some wide open looks for three and we just didn’t make it,” Coach Davis said.

Meanwhile, Duke veteran Jeremy Roach was able to get to the hoop and draw fouls, mostly on Davis who was saddled with foul trouble much of the game. Roach finished with a game-high 20 points.

Duke is now 17-6 and 8-4 in the ACC while Carolina, led by Bacot’s 14 points and 10 rebounds, is now 16-8 overall and 7-5 in the conference.

The Tar Heels, losers of two in a row, travel to Wake Forest Tuesday night.

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

Physical Panthers outbattle Tar Heels 65-64

In heart-wrenching fashion, North Carolina fell to Pittsburgh for the second time this season after Jamarius Burton’s two free throws with just over three seconds to play gave the visiting Panthers a 65-64 win. (2/1)

The Tar Heels shot poorly all night, managing just 35 percent from the field (including 18 percent from beyond the arc) and a mere 59 percent from the free throw line.

Still, North Carolina trailed by just one, 34-33, at the half and built a 46-40 lead seven minutes into the second half.

Pitt, who were physically aggressive on offense and defense, quickly changed the direction of the game with a 17-4 run that started with three consecutive three-pointers from Nelly Cummings, who led the Panthers with 21 points.

Still down 61-55, the Tar Heels tied it up after scoring six straight on an and-one bucket by Armando Bacot and a three-pointer by Caleb Love, which was Carolina’s first triple of the second half after 10 tries.

Carolina took the lead at 64-63 on two free throws from Bacot with 1:07 left. But with a chance to extend the lead, Bacot traveled to turn the ball over with 26 seconds left.

Pitt held for a last shot and R.J. Davis fouled Burton, who had hit 19 straight free throws, on a jumper in the lane with just over three seconds left. After his made free throws and a UNC timeout, Love put up a three that was blocked by Nike Sibande. Carolina faithful, who had an issue with the officials most of the night, felt Love was fouled.

“We just didn’t play well enough,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said. “We weren’t good enough. We weren’t tough enough. We weren’t discipline enough.”

The two players who have been catalysts for the Tar Heels – Bacot and Davis – were just six of 25 from the floor and 11 of 19 from the free throw line.

The game got chippy several times as players on both teams mouthed off at each other although Pitt generally seemed to be the initiators.

“I do want them to be emotional,” Coach Davis said of his team. “But you can also be under control… At times we did lose our composure but we were able to get it back.”

Pitt, now 16-7 overall and 9-3 in the ACC, have won five of the last six against the Tar Heels.

Carolina, now 15-7 overall and 7-4 in the conference, plays at rival Duke Saturday.

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

Bloodied Heels squeeze by Syracuse

North Carolina, who led for nearly 37 of the 40 minutes, found itself trailing in the last minute Tuesday night. UNC’s Pete Nance scored with seconds left and then a banged up R.J. Davis saved the day when he took an aggressive charge that left him bloodied as Carolina won 72-68 at Syracuse. (1/24)

The Tar Heels, up by four at the half, extended the lead to 10 at 56-46 on a three from the corner by Nance. But Syracuse chipped away until Judah Mintz scored on a double clutch in the lane to give the Orange a 63-62 lead with more than four minutes to play.

The lead went back and forth but it looked bad for the Tar Heels after an Armando Bacot turnover and a three from Syracuse’s Joe Girard, who had faked out Leaky Black for an open shot, with just 1:25 seconds to play, for a 68-66 Orange lead.

Each team had fruitless possessions before Nance was fouled going in for what would have been a game-tying dunk. Nance hit the first free throw but missed the second. Girard tried saving the rebound that was going out of bounds but threw it right to Nance who laid it in for a 69-68 Carolina lead with 17 seconds to go.

Mintz quickly took the ball to the hoop but elbowed and charged Davis with 10.7 to go. Davis, who had been injured already earlier in the game, was down and bloodied for several minutes.

UNC coach Hubert Davis yelled that it was the second time Mintz had clobbered Davis in the face. Officials reviewed the play and indeed added a Flagrant 1 to the foul.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told the officials that was bull excrement. With Davis out, Love shot the free throws, making one of them. The flagrant foul also gave the ball back to the Heels. Love was fouled again and he hit both free throws to wrap it up.

“R.J. has really stepped it up defensively – particularly over the last couple of games,” Coach Davis said. “He took two charges that were really big. That’s the kind of thing you have to do on the road against a very good team like Syracuse.”

R.J. Davis missed some time earlier in the game after getting hit in the nose and then he dislocated a finger on his shooting hand before taking the late-game elbow to his eye.

It was Nance who led the way offensively with 21 points while Bacot added 18 and Love, who hit three triples early in the game, chipped in 15.

Carolina navigated the Syracuse zone well in the first half, getting up by as many as nine points but the Heels couldn’t keep the hot shooting hand. After shooting nearly 52 percent in the first half, Carolina managed only 37 percent in the second half.

Syracuse, now 13-8 overall and 6-4 in the ACC, was led by Girard’s 18 points and Mintz’ 17 points.

Carolina, now 15-6 overall and 7-3 in the conference, doesn’t play again until Feb. 1 against Pittsburgh at home.

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

Bacot makes history in foul-plagued win over Pack

North Carolina’s Armando Bacot became the all-time rebounding leader in UNC history as he pulled down 18 rebounds in leading the Tar Heels to an 80-69 victory over rival N.C. State in Chapel Hill. (1/21)

Bacot, who had 23 points, was seven for seven from the line in a game that saw 43 fouls including 27 on the Wolfpack. As a team, Carolina was 36 of 39 from the line while State finished 12 of 12.

Carolina’s R.J. Davis hit all 14 of his free throw attempts as he led the Heels in scoring with 26 points.

But the focus was on Bacot who picked up his record-breaking 2220th rebound with about seven minutes to play to pass Tyler Hansbrough, who was on hand to congratulate Bacot after the game.

“Armando has had an unbelievable season and an unbelievable career,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said. “When you pass guys like Billy Cunningham and Tyler Hansbrough, you’re doing something pretty good.”

The Bacot accomplishment may have been overlooked had the Wolfpack been able to hold on to a lead they had at 42-41 following a Jarkel Joiner jumper. But Carolina went on a 12-2 run to take its biggest lead of the game to that point at 53-44 with 12:45 to go.

During that run, Bacot got an offensive rebound and scored which resulted in Bacot’s 61st career double-double, breaking the UNC career record of Hall-of-Famer Billy Cunningham, who graduated in 1965.

The Tar Heels got its first double-figure lead at 59-49 with just over 10 minutes to play when Caleb Love threaded a pass to Leaky Black in traffic for a bucket.

The closest State got the rest of the way came seconds later after Black was charged with a Flagrant 2 foul after he hit Terquavion Smith while trying to block a shot. The game was delayed as Smith, who apparently injured his elbow and neck, was toted off the court on a stretcher.

Coach Davis, who began his comments expressing concern for Smith, made it clear than it was not an intentional hit from Black, who was ejected from the game. “You can’t get any nicer than Leaky,” he said. “He was sorry that happened. Leaky is such a sweet guy. He would never do anything to hurt or injure anyone.”

After the free throws, State scored on the inbounds play to cut the margin to six at 59-53 with 9:38 to go. The Heels went on a 7-0 run, all on free throws, to stretch the lead to 13 at 66-53 for their largest margin of the game. It never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

N.C. State, now 15-5 overall and 5-4 in the ACC, was led by Joiner and big man D.J. Burns who scored 18 points each.

Carolina, now 14-6 overall and 6-3 in the conference, play at Syracuse Tuesday at 9 p.m.

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

Tar Heels never trail in close win over BC

North Carolina, which never trailed, couldn’t pull away from Boston College as Armando Bacot tallied his 60th double-double in a 72-64 victory at home. (1/17)

Bacot, who already had 10 points and 12 rebounds at the half, finished with 20 points and 16 rebounds to pace Carolina to the win in a game that seemed to trudge along much of the game.

“Boston College is a very physical basketball team and they make it difficult to get into the offense,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said. “A team like that can take you out of your rhythm.”

Whether it’s pretty or ugly, Coach Davis added, winning a conference game is a great thing.

The Eagles stayed close but could never take the lead as they missed all six of their three-point shots. It was the first time BC failed to hit a three-point shot since 2005 and the first time Carolina held an opponent to no threes since 1990.

Carolina led by as many as nine points in the first half at 21-12 when R.J. Davis hit a three from the right sideline and by as many as 11 points in the second half at 52-41 when Davis swished a three from the right wing. He finished with 18 points.

The Tar Heels hit 10 of 29 three pointers. Coach Davis wasn’t happy with settling for so many threes. In fact, half of Carolina’s shot were from beyond the arc.

The Heels needed a big three from Caleb Love after Carolina had missed seven shots in a row, allowing BC to pull within a point at 56-55 as the Eagles hit five in a row. The step-back three with 5:20 to go preceded a fastbreak layup by Love and a couple of free throws from Davis that pushed the lead back up to eight at 63-55.

The Eagles were down by just six with 1:16 to before Carolina wrapped it up with a fly-by layup by Davis and a reverse slam dunk by Love after a Leaky Black steal.

Boston College, now 8-11 overall and 2-6 in the ACC, was led by big man Quinten Post’s 17 points.

Bacot now has 1,203 career rebounds and needs just 17 more to break Tyler Hansbrough’s Carolina career record.

Carolina, now 13-6 overall and 5-3 in the conference, hosts rival N.C. State Saturday afternoon.

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

UNC overcomes slow start to rip Cards

North Carolina, which started the game sluggish, scored the last eight points of the first half and carried that dominance into the second half to win 80-59 at Louisville. (1/14)

Armando Bacot, who wore a boot on the plane to the game, was able to start and he made the most of it, leading five Tar Heels in double figures with 14 points and 16 rebounds.

“Armando had a double-double by halftime on one ankle,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said. “The most important thing is is health and well-being. He didn’t practice Thursday or Friday but he told me at the hotel before the game that his ankle was feeling much better.”

D’Marco Dunn came off the bench to score a career-high 14 including a steal and dunk with 11 minutes to play, which gave the Tar Heels their biggest lead at the time, 63-44.

Puff Johnson, who got a start in place of Pete Nance who’s still out with a bad back, scored 12, including two on a pass from Bacot, which gave Carolina the biggest lead of the game, 73-50 with 6:53 to go.

R.J. Davis, who fought foul trouble, finished the game with 12 points including a long three at the end of the first half, which gave Carolina a 37-26 advantage at the break.

The fifth Tar Heel in double figures was Caleb Love with 10 points but his slump continued as he hit only four of 13 baskets and turned the ball over four times. Love also failed to hit a three pointer to break his record streak of 45 games with a three.

Carolina survived a 9-0 Louisville run in the first half, which helped the Cardinals to an eight-point lead. “It seemed that we were lackadaisical at the beginning, not locking in defensively,” Dunn said. “My role was to bring energy off the bench. Energy is infectious.”

After seven straight points by Bacot in just over a minute, UNC took a 22-19 lead and never trailed again.

Early in the second half, Johnson lofted in a pair of threes – one from the left corner and one from the right sideline – over the span of a minute to help Carolina open up the game at 49-33 and prompting a Louisville timeout.

The Tar Heels were only seven of 24 from beyond the arc but they held the Cardinals to a mere one of 14 from three. Even more impressively, the Heels converted 23 points on 14 Louisville turnovers.

The rebuilding Louisville, now 2-16 overall and 0-7 in the ACC, was led by El Ellis’ 22 points.

Carolina, now 12-6 overall and 4-3 in the conference, hosts Boston College Tuesday night.

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

Bacot-less Heels can’t stop No. 13 UVA

Already without one big man in Pete Nance, North Carolina lost its top player, Armando Bacot, early at No. 13 Virginia and couldn’t stop the Cavaliers in the second half on the way to a 65-58 loss. (1/10)

Bacot left with an ankle injury 1:19 into the game and never returned. Jalen Washington stepped into his shoes and did well for a while, scoring 12 on the way to Carolina 29-27 lead at the half. Washington scored just one point the rest of the way.

Carolina led by as many as nine in the first half after Leaky Black hit a three from the left corner to give the Heels a 24-15 lead with less than four minutes left in the first half. UNC led UVA from the 9:32 mark of the first half until the 12:50 mark of the second half when Ben Vander Plas drained a three from the top of the key for a 42-40 Virginia lead.

The Tar Heels never led again as the Cavaliers extended the lead to as many as 10 points at 52-42 with nine minutes to play.

Caleb Love, who returned to his poor-shooting ways, managed to get hot down the stretch with three three-pointers that pulled the Heels to 61-58 with a minute to play. But then Love’s man, Reece Beekman, blew past him for a dunk and then Love threw an inbounds pass away and Vander Plas dunked it to put the game out of reach.

Love had been 0 of 6 from beyond the arc before the three-late triples. He scored 13 points but hit only four of 13 shots. R.J. Davis, who picked up three fouls in the first half, led the Tar Heels with 16 points.

Despite being without Bacot and Nance, Carolina looked to have a good chance to win after the Heels held Virginia to shooting 37.5 percent in the first half, including just two of 11 from three-point land.

But the Cavaliers got hot in the second half, going on a 17-2 run and shooting 54 percent from the field, including four of eight from the three-point line.

Carolina outrebounded Virginia 36-32 but were beat on points in the paint, 32-20. Also, UNC’s 13 turnovers led to 19 Cavalier points.

UNC coach Hubert Davis said Carolina let too many guys get past them on defense for easy shots while not getting to enough loose balls.

“On the offensive end, we had the shots, opportunities,” he said. “We just weren’t good enough tonight.”

Virginia, now 12-3 overall and 4-2 in the ACC, was led by Vander Plas’ 17 points.

Carolina, now 11-6 overall and 3-3 in the conference, plays at Louisville on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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

Bacot, Love pace UNC to run-away win over Irish

Armando Bacot controlled the inside game and Caleb Love bounced back from a scoring slump to pace North Carolina to comfortable 81-64 victory in Chapel Hill. (1/7)

Bacot got his ninth double-double of the year with 21 points and 13 rebounds while Love hit three triples on his way to 18 points. It had been four games since Love reached double figures as he averaged seven points each of the previous three games.

UNC coach Hubert Davis was more enthused to talk about his team’s defense. “Our guys did a good job guarding the ball,” he said. “We moved our feet well and were able to take away the three.” Notre Dame averaged 24 threes a game but got off only 18 against Carolina while hitting seven of them.

The game was back and forth for the first 10 minutes but after Puff Johnson hit a three to put Carolina up 20-18 with 9:04 left in the first half, the Tar Heels never trailed again. That was part of a 9-0 run that turned the trajectory of the game.

Love swished a three to give the Heels their first double-digit lead at 31-21 with just under six minutes in the half. Then he hit a three late in the first half to give Carolina a 41-28 margin at the half.

The lead hovered around 13-15 points through the first 10 minutes of the second half. But Notre Dame went on a quick one-minute 8-1 run, led by a pair of threes by Cormac Ryan.

The Tar Heels countered with a 7-0 run and it never got closer than 12 the rest of the way as the lead stretched to as many as 18 points.

Carolina outrebounded the Irish 45-32 and beat the Irish in the paint 42-32.

Notre Dame, now 8-8 overall and 0-5 in the ACC, was led by Nate Laszewski’s 17 points. But Carolina was able to hold Laszewski, who got seven threes against Carolina last year, to just one three.

In addition to Bacot’s 21 points and Love’s 18, R.J. Davis finished with 13 points and five assists while Puff Johnson scored a season-high 11 points.

Carolina, now 11-5 overall and 3-2 in the conference, plays at favored Virginia Tuesday night at 9 p.m. UNC has not won in Virginia since 2012.

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

Davis leads Heels to 2nd-half rally over Wake

North Carolina, playing with some adversity, got a season-high 27 points from R.J. Davis, 22 of which came in the second half, to rally from six down in the second half to defeat Wake Forest 88-79 at home. (1/4)

The Tar Heels were playing without starter Pete Nance, who went out with an ongoing back issue fewer than two minutes into the game. Replacement Jalen Washington quickly picked up three fouls.

“It’s important for us to dig deeper – there are times when you’re met with adversity,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said. “You just have to dig deeper and play.”

The lift Carolina needed in the first half came from Leaky Black, who had 14 points in the half including three triples over the span of just three minutes. Coach Davis pointed more to Black’s defense in the second half when the Tar Heels really took advantage of Wake turnovers.

Black, who finished with a career-high 18 points, had three steals and played locked down defense in the second half.

Carolina made eight turnovers in the first half but only committed one in the second half, turning the tide on Wake. The Tar Heels scored 32 points off 15 Deacon turnovers, most of which came in the second half.

Wake, leading 38-37 at the half, started the second half hot, hitting eight of its first 10 shots to go up 58-52.

After narrowing the lead to one at 64-63, the Heels went on a 7-0 run highlighted by an Armando Bacot steal followed by a Davis three that made it 70-64 with just more than eight minutes to play.

Carolina extended the margin to eight at 75-67 when Caleb Love, who had a dreadful shooting night, came up big with a three from the top of the key.

Davis hit a step-back three from the right corner to make it 84-75 with 3:37 to go. It never got closer than seven the rest of the way as Carolina got its largest lead of 88-77 on a Black steal and slam dunk with seconds left.

Wake Forest, now 10-5 overall and 2-2 in the ACC, was led by Damari Monsanto’s 17 points.

Bacot added 21 points to Davis’ team-leading 27 and Black’s 18 while Seth Trimble came off the beach for a career-high 11 points on a four-for-four performance.

Carolina, now 10-5 overall and 2-2 in the conference, plays at home again Saturday at 11:30 a.m. against Notre Dame.

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

Tar Heels go cold late, fall at Pittsburgh

North Carolina, which led most of the game, went nearly six minutes without a field goal while Pitt, led by Jamarius Burton, hit six of its last eight to win 76-74 in Pittsburgh. (12/30)

Burton, who averaged 14 points a game, had a career-high 31 points to lead the comeback from nine points down midway through the second half. Burton, who hit 14 of 17 shots, scored half of the Panthers’ field goals.

“We didn’t have an answer for Burton,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said. “Nobody on our team could cover him. Nobody.”

Most of Pitt’s points in the paint belonged to Burton. “When you give up 42 points in the paint, it’s hard to stop anybody,” he added. Conversely, Carolina had 26 points in the paint.

The Tar Heels, who shot 52 percent from the field on their way to a 40-34 halftime lead, went cold in the second half, hitting just one of nine from three and finished shooting just 43 percent for the game.

Things were looking up for Carolina in the first half after Leaky Black threw a cross-court pass to R.J. Davis for a fastbreak layup to put the Heels up 19-10 in the first half.

The Panthers pulled within three early in the second half but after an Armando Bacot dunk, Carolina again had a nine-point advantage at 55-46 with 11:53 left in the game.

Within five minutes Pitt had tied the game at 58-all and it was a struggle for the Heels, especially offensively, the rest of the way.

The Tar Heels led for more than 34 minutes of the game. “It’s about executing on both ends of the court, not for part of the game but for the entire game,” Coach Davis said.

Pitt, now 10-4 overall and 3-0 in the ACC, also got 16 points from Blake Hinson, who hit a huge contested, fade-away three with 1:24 to go to break a 67-67 tie.

Carolina, now 9-5 overall and 1-2 in the conference, plays at home Wednesday against Wake Forest.

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