BIRMINGHAM, AL – One week after erupting for 93 points in an upset win over Louisville, UNC men’s basketball’s offense sputtered in a 63-59 non-conference loss to UAB Sunday at Bartow Arena.
The Tar Heels, who trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half, tried in vain to come back in the second half as Marcus Paige missed a pair of trey attempts in the closing seconds. James Michael McAdoo missed another three-pointer at the buzzer, but needed to make the shot and draw a foul to push the game into overtime anyway.
UAB, 6-2, put a feather in its cap and that of C-USA with the win over the Tar Heels, who came into the game No. 16 in the nation but fell to 4-2.
The Tar Heels, as if weighed down after a holiday feast, turned to famine in the first half in which they hit just 2 of 8 free throws and missed 14 of their first 22 shots from the field. Things were even worse from behind the arc, where the Heels were 0-of-4 in trey attempts.
Forward J.P. Tokoto was a force for the Tar Heels, hitting 7 of 11 shots in finishing with a team-high 16 points. Paige added 13 points as Tokoto’s only teammate to reach double-figures, though he missed all six of his three-point attempts.
McAdoo was another poor-shooting culprit, knocking down just 3 of 13 shots while guard Nate Britt missed all three of his field goal attempts while getting saddled with five fouls.
UNC’s poor stats were about as welcome as a holiday fruit cake as they were outrebounded 52-37, including a 22-11 margin on the offensive glass. Center Fahri Alihodzic dominated in the middle with 13 rebounds for the victors.
The Tar Heels swatted 10 shots, including five in second half, forcing UAB into long scoreless spurts, but Chad Frazier poured in 25 points, including all three of the Blazers’ treys in the big win .
Frazier was terrific all over the court, scoring from long-distance, with shorter jumpers and at the charity stripe.
The Tar Heels suffered a miserable first-half in which they hit just 2 of 8 free throws and missed 14 of their first 22 shots from the field.