CHAPEL HILL – Marcus Paige led the UNC men’s basketball team to an 82-71 win against Boston College Saturday for the Tar Heel’s first win in ACC play, avoiding the first 0-4 start in the ACC in Carolina history.
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Out of the first media timeout, Carolina went on an 8-2 run to set the tone and force a timeout from Boston College and head coach Steve Donahue.
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The run was extended to 15-4 before the less than 12-minute official timeout.
James Michael McAdoo opened the game 3-3 from the field with eight points. After the game he said strong play early established a base on which the team could build.
“Just getting off to a quick start in the first half, I feel like we really got things in our momentum,” McAdoo said. “Whenever you’re able to do that, it builds a lot of confidence, especially throughout the rest of the game.”
The Eagles chipped their way back into the game with three consecutive threes before the eight-minute mark. The game remained close throughout the rest of the first half, but the Tar Heels never relinquished the lead.
Carolina took a 36-32 advantage into the locker room.
The margin remained between two and six points in favor of the Tar Heels for most of the second half.
Half of the Eagles shots came behind the three-point line, and they knocked down 48 percent from three.
Head Coach Roy Williams said the outside shooting kept BC in the game.
“Boston College is really a hard team to play,” Coach Williams said. “They’re really very well coached; their kids do the things that Steve asks them to do. (When they) make those threes, they’re hard to guard like that. (They’re) good ball handlers; they put the ball on the floor and break you down. And yet, I thought we were, at times, really good.”
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With 4:30 left in the game, Marcus Paige found Leslie McDonald to give Carolina its largest lead of the second half at ten.
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UNC shot 4-12 from behind the arc. Coach Williams said that’s just about where he’d like to see the attempts.
“Four for 12, I’d like to make more,” Coach Williams said. “I don’t care if we shoot more than 12 threes, but I’d like to make more than four.”
Paige hit 6-9 from the field including 2-4 from three in the first half and hit his only attempt in the second for the team-leading 21 points. He also tallied four assists, two steals, and two rebounds.
With 1:31 left in the game, Coach Donahue couldn’t hold back his unrest with the officiating. The referees allowed him to continue yelling during a timeout after Olivier Hanlan was fouled out. After the timeout, Coach Donahue received his first-ever technical foul, and Paige knocked down both free throws. The coach found it hard to describe his emotions of that moment after the game.
“I think more frus…I was frustrated,” Coach Donahue said. “I didn’t even know it was Olivier’s fifth. First technical foul of my career. And I did not use any language.”
The Tar Heel defense held while Carolina went 6-6 from the free throw line from that point to take the 11-point win. As a team, UNC shot 20-30 from the charity stripe.
With the win, Carolina improved to 11-6, 1-3 in the ACC; BostonCollege fell to 5-13, 1-4.
UNC travels to Charlottesville, Virginia Monday night to take on the Cavaliers. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., and our pregame coverage on WCHL begins at 5:30 p.m.
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UNC vs. Boston College