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The Tar Heels have been led by the gritty, determined play of junior signal caller Marquise Williams, who was named ACC Offensive Back of the Week for the fourth time this season Monday.
But according to Wolfpack defender Hakim Jones, Williams is a softy who “basically quits” when hit a few times.
UNC head coach Larry Fedora says he doesn’t think it’s wise to question his quarterback’s toughness.
“I wouldn’t question Marquise’s toughness. You have seen all of our games. You’ve seen how he gets hit and what he does. I haven’t looked at a game and thought he laid down for any reason,” Coach Fedora says.
If he got his way, Coach Fedora says he’d like Williams to go down to the ground a little quicker. But the Carolina skipper says that’s not even an option for the tough-natured Williams.
“I would like for him to go down more than he does, a whole lot more. But that’s not who he is. It’s not his makeup or in his DNA. He likes delivering blows,” Coach Fedora says.
There will certainly be plenty of heavy blows delivered Saturday afternoon in this rivalry matchup featuring two teams who don’t like each other.
Jones calling out Williams may be foolish, but it definitely throws more fuel on the fire of this intense rivalry that N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren says is fun to be a part of.
“It’s a great rivalry. The distance between the schools makes it special. They’re always heated and a lot of pageantry goes into them. I love everything about it. It’s a big challenge for our football team. Any time you’re in a game like this as a coach, it’s a pleasure,” Coach Doeren says.
Per usual, Coach Fedora turned the UNC locker room red last weekend. He says his interior decorating is partly motivational and partly just for fun.
“We like to have a good time. Whether that’s juvenile or not, the kids have fun with it. I don’t think it’s what motivates them to play the game. It’s kind of a joke, but they’ve had fun with it in the past,” Coach Fedora says.
The Wolfpack offense has found its feet this season in large part thanks to the play of Florida transfer quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
Coach Fedora says Brissett will make life difficult for the Tar Heel defense.
“That guy is really talented. He can beat you with his legs or beat you with his arms. He’s going to extend plays. He’s a special players, there’s no doubt,” Coach Fedora says.
The key to the game may come down to the running game. The team that has held the rushing advantage has won 19 of the last 22 meetings.
Luckily for the Tar Heels, running back T.J. Logan is running with ruthless intention at just the right time. His revitalization mimics the upward trajectory of the entire UNC team.
Senior linebacker Norkeithus Otis says his teammates have grown in confidence.
“We just keep working and believing in each other. We find ways to win games and keep fighting. A lot of the confidence has come up in all the guys,” Otis says.
The Tar Heels lead the all-time series with the Wolfpack, 65-32-6, and have never lost under the direction of Coach Fedora.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heels-try-tame-wolfpack-home-finale/
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With the victory, the Tar Heels improved to 33-23 on the season and all but locked up an NCAA Tournament berth. The Wolfpack, however, fell to 32-23 on the year and likely saw their postseason hopes evaporate with the loss to their in-state rival.
In his first bit of relief work in 2014, Carolina ace Trent Thornton retired the final five batters to avoid extra innings in a rivalry that has seen its fair share of marathon thrillers.
Michael Russell, recently left off the First-Team All-ACC squad, bashed a double and a triple to lead the Carolina attack that totaled eight hits in the contest.
The Tar Heel bats certainly came out strong, racing out to a 4-1 lead in the third inning with a trio of runs. But the Wolfpack offense responded in the fourth inning with a pair of runs of their own to narrow the gap down to a single run.
From there, the game slowed down to a crawl as both pitching staffs repeatedly responded under pressure to remain unscathed. Carolina arms Zach Rice, Trevor Kelley, Spencer Trayner and Thornton faced 10 baserunners and stranded every one of them.
There will be no time for celebration. Next up for the Tar Heels is a Wednesday night battle with second-seeded Florida State.
First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. UNC will send Taylore Cherry to the mound to face FSU’s Billy Strode.
The Tar Heels will go into the contest with confidence. The last time the two schools met, Carolina emerged victorious at Boshamer Stadium.
The seventh-seeded North Carolina baseball team, 32-23 overall and 15-15 in the ACC, will face rival and No. 10 seed N.C. State, 32-22 overall and 13-17 in conference, Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the ACC Tournament at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro.
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The winner advances to pool B alongside No.2 Florida State, No. 3 Virginia and No. 6 Maryland.
UNC Head Coach Mike Fox says this matchup must have been destiny.
“The stars aligned didn’t they? My wife predicted that six weeks ago – that we’d be playing them, and sure enough, that’s the way it worked out,” Coach Fox says.
It appeared the Duel at the DBAP rainout at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park would prevent Carolina and N.C. State from meeting on the diamond this season, but as fate would have it, the two premier college baseball programs will collide in unfamiliar territory – needing a victory to turn NCAA Tournament aspirations into a stronger reality.
Coach Fox didn’t vote for the new ACC Tournament format that features an expanded field and play-in games. But perhaps it’s fitting his defending champion Tar Heels will be featuring in a morning first pitch against the rival Wolfpack in a tilt that is typically reserved for primetime billing.
Coach Fox says Carolina is approaching the game as a must-win scenario for a variety of reasons.
“We think we do. We’re going into it under that assumption. We need to win for several reasons. One is to continue on in the tournament, but after that, there are some unknowns there. That’s our approach,” Coach Fox says.
It’s unknown whether Wolfpack ace Carlos Rodon will take to the mound against the Tar Heels. Wolfpack Head Coach Elliott Avent left things up in the air as to who would be his starter, unwilling to give a firm decision on Monday.
But Coach Fox and the Tar Heels are under no illusions. They fully expect to see the future major-leaguer hurling his fastballs at them at some point Tuesday. Coach Fox just isn’t sure when.
Coach Fox confirmed Monday that reliable reliever Reilly Hovis would be making a rare start in place of usual midweek performer Taylore Cherry.
Hovis says Coach Fox texted him Monday morning to let him know to be prepared to start in the critical elimination game. Hovis says there are different approaches to starting versus closing, but he’s confident in his versatility.
“Normally, when you’re coming in to close, you’re coming in at a big situation. At the start of the game, the game is right there in the balance. You don’t really know what’s going to happen. It’s a different mindset, but I’ve done both. I feel comfortable,” Hovis says.
Coach Fox says a number of arms will be ready to roll later in the game if need be, including Carolina sophomore standout Trent Thornton, a normal Friday starter.
Senior slugger Parks Jordan is trying to impart some of his experience on the freshmen heading into the postseason. But he says it’s important not to get too amped up in the pressurized moments of tournament action.
“You have to have the right mindset for these types of games. You can’t put too much pressure on yourself. There’s a fine line between telling yourself ‘we need to win this game’ or ‘we have to win this game’. We should go into every game expecting to win. You should go into every game with a mindset just to play the way we’ve talked, the way we’ve been playing, and things will work out for themselves,” Jordan says.
Everybody remembers the 18-inning classic in the ACC Tournament a year ago in Durham. The marathon was eventually won by Carolina en route to the championship. UNC is 157-128-1 all-time against N.C. State, including a 26-22 edge under Coach Fox.
The winner of Tuesday’s throwdown, broadcast right here on WCHL, will advance to take on Florida State Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in pool play.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-n-c-state-rivalry-resumes-tuesday-greensboro/
Last season, the two programs paired for memorable extra inning affairs in postseason play. Carolina ultimately sent N.C.State home from the College World Series in Omaha last June.
But this year is a different story. Both squads come into the contest with surprisingly mediocre records. The Tar Heels are sitting at 21-15 overall and 9-9 in the ACC while the Wolfpack have a 20-15 mark overall and a 6-12 record in conference play.
But Head Coach Mike Fox says he was encouraged by Carolina’s series victory over WakeForest last weekend.
“We were disappointed we didn’t get the sweep on Sunday, but all in all, it was a good weekend for us. I thought our kids played well all weekend,” Coach Fox says.
Oddly, the Tar Heels and Wolfpack would not have played this season if not for the scheduling of this one-game neutral site event. Coach Fox says the Bulls have been wonderful partners in making the contest a reality.
“The Bulls were very cooperative. We came up with this date. The Bulls got behind it. […] Let’s hope we can play,” Coach Fox says.
The rainy weather in the forecast is casting some doubt on whether the game will even be played, but both teams and the 10,000 fans who have already bought tickets to sold-out Durham Bulls Park, will be keeping their fingers crossed for some baseball under the lights Tuesday night.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-collides-nc-state-duel-dbap/
Day turned to night in Greensboro. A team from down the road in Raleigh made some noise thanks to two special players.
#7 NC State vs. #10 Miami
This one felt different from the beginning. The electricity had arrived in the Coliseum as the Wolfpack darted out to a 7-2 lead. The atmosphere was awesome.
Miami was definitely keying on ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren, but the man could still find a way to score. He’s just that good.
But the Hurricanes and Head Coach Jim Larranaga were throwing everything and everybody at him. Slowly but surely, the Canes were climbing back with some defensive tenacity.
Darius Adams was making some nice moves on the offensive end for Miami as the Wolfpack struggled to run their own offense, missing shot after shot.
With 7:19 to play before halftime, NC State held a narrow 13-12 advantage. Ralston Turner was leading the scoring charge for the Wolfpack with six points. The game’s pacing was much more to Miami’s liking.
It was looking more and more like the first team to sixty points may win the game. At the half, the Wolfpack held a 26-22 advantage.
Impressively, NC State only committed a single turnover in the entire first half of action. But the shooting woes were evident for the Wolfpack, who only shot 32 percent from the floor. The Canes shot a more respectable 42 percent as a team.
Miami led in total rebounds 18-12 and scored 16 of their 22 points in the paint.
More importantly, however, the trampoline dunking show at halftime was on point! You just had to turn a blind eye to all the traveling.
If anybody likes a good churro, might I suggest grabbing one at the Coliseum? Very delicious – had too many to count!
Meanwhile, NC State and Warren came out blazing in the second half and claimed a 32-24 lead just 2.5 minutes into it.
But Miami bounced right back with Larranaga barking out orders from the sideline. He’s really a heck of a coach, that guy. He’s a battler, and his players, at least in this contest, were taking after him.
The game was really stagnant, at least as far as scoring. I caught a dude falling asleep a few rows back from me. He woke up a few minutes later and really didn’t miss a thing.
But alas, a winner had to be found. Turner was a major player. Let’s say he was Robin to Warren’s Batman. And “Batman” displayed some soft touch to get a couple more baskets to fall, but the Canes went on a late 9-0 run full of guts and effort. But it wasn’t quite enough. The Wolfpack eeked out the victory and a spot opposite Syracuse in Friday’s quarterfinal round.
FINAL: NCSU 67 – UM 58
RALEIGH — The No. 19 North Carolina men’s basketball team survived an overtime challenge from N.C. State and T.J. Warren 85-84 to improve to 21-7 on the season and 11-4 in conference play, recording a tenth straight victory Wednesday night at PNC Arena.
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With the loss, the Wolfpack fell to 17-11 overall and 7-8 in conference action.
“It was an unbelievable basketball game. I felt like we had the game won and made one of the silliest fouls I’ve ever seen in my life. All of a sudden they have a six-point lead and everybody’s thinking we’ve given it away. All of a sudden, Marcus made a heck of a drive, and we stole one,” UNC Head Coach Roy Williams says.
***Listen to Roy Williams’ postgame remarks***
N.C. State dropped the back-and-forth affair despite Warren’s 36 points, a career high. Battling foul trouble, the Wolfpack star put in a legendary performance that turned into a duel with Carolina’s Marcus Paige in the second half.
The pair went shot-for-shot down the stretch, but it was Paige who got the final opportunity, laying in the basket off the glass with .9 seconds left in the overtime period to grab the win for the Tar Heels.
***Listen to the call by the Tar Heel Sports Network’s Jones Angell***
Remarkably, Paige scored 31 of his 35 points in the second half, helping Carolina win its third straight game when trailing at the half.
The second half was a clean performance for UNC as the Tar Heels only committed a single turnover after halftime.
Other important contributors for the Tar Heels included J.P. Tokoto’s 16 points and Brice Johnson’s 10.
Carolina overcame another rough free throw shooting night, only mustering a 58.1 percent night, knocking down 18-31 while NC State shot at a 61.3 percent clip from the line.
All in all, it was a legendary duel between two of the conference’s most dynamic players, but it was the Tar Heels and Paige who squeaked it out to the disappointment of the rowdy crowd in PNC Arena.
The Tar Heels won the opening tipoff and took the ball right to the rim, drawing an early foul on T.J. Warren just ten seconds into the game. J.P. Tokoto made both free throws.
The Wolfpack were missing early, allowing the Tar Heels to take the 4-0 lead when Kennedy Meeks scored inside with 18 minutes to play in the half.
N.C. State got on the scoreboard thanks to Warren’s make. And he tied the game up soon after with a pair of foul shot conversions. It was 4-4 with 16:41 on the first half clock.
Meeks got to the foul line with a rebound and some nice work inside. But the freshman only made one of two to give UNC the 5-4 edge.
Ralston Turner earned NC State’s first lead of the game with a sharp jumper that fell through the nets on the ensuing possession. With 15:19 left in the half, NC State held the 6-5 advantage.
Tyler Lewis popped a three-pointer to stake the Wolfpack out to the 9-5 lead. Carolina was shooting 1-9 in the half until Brice Johnson broke through with a score that closed the gap down to two points. Another Johnson put away tied the game up at nine points wit 13:03 on the clock.
Warren responded on the other end with a make off the glass that erupted the crowd. It was Paige who got on the board next with a smooth score in transition. With 10:55 to play in the half, the Wolfpack found themselves tied up 13-13 with the visiting Tar Heels.
Desmond Lee banked in a long-range shot that broke the tie in favor of N.C. State, but the Wolfpack committed their fourth team foul that sent Johnson to the line after that. But he missed both attempts.
Turner knocked down a crazy long three-pointer that extended the NC State lead out to 19-13, but Carolina answered with a quick score on the other end as the pace quickened.
Beejay Anya’s physical play earned him a basket and a foul. The Wolfpack led 21-15 with 7:53 remaining in the half.
Anya kept working the ball inside as the Wolfpack continued to maintain momentum late in the second half. They were running away with it, up 26-15 with 6:08 to play in the half.
Tokoto threw in an athletic jam for the Tar Heels off a steal by Paige while the fouls started flowing from Carolina on the defensive end. Anya responded with a rebound and a score to place the scoreboard at 28-17 with 4:25 to play before halftime.
Paige battled his way around the rim and layed the ball through the nets right before a timeout to narrow the gap down to 28-19 wit 3:38 on the first half clock.
Tokoto swished a deep two-pointer to reduce the arrears down to 28-21. The energy and aggression on the defense was amping up for Carolina in the waning minutes of the half.
The free throw shooting woes continued for McAdoo as he continued to throw up poor attempts that rimmed out. Johnson jammed the ball through the nets to cut the NC State lead down to 32-25 with 1:12 to play before halftime.
Cat Barber was hacked and sent to the foul line, calmly knocking down both to push the lead out to 34-26 with seconds to go in the half.
The halftime stat sheet read in favor of the Wolfpack, not surprisingly. Carolina was shooting at a 38.5 percent clip as a team while NC State was knocking down 44.4 percent of its shots.
Warren was leading the scoring charge for the Wolfpack with 10 points while Tokoto put up 8 points to lead the Tar Heels.
Warren worked his way to the foul line to start the scoring proceedings in the second half. He made one of the free throws.
Paige responded with an acrobatic make while drawing a foul. He missed the point after. The Tar Heels got the rebound off the miss and Meeks drew a foul of his own.
With 18:22 to play, the Tar Heels were trailing 35-29.
Turner drew a foul from McDonald and took full advantage at the line, converting on both to extend the Wolfpack lead out to eight.
Paige dished to Meeks for an easy score around the rim. The score stood at 37-32 in favor of NC State with 15:44 to play in the contest.
The Tar Heels cut the lead down to one at 37-36 with 13:30 to play in the game with a Paige mark that quieted the crowd.
Tokoto made it to the free throw line, but failed to make either basket. Barber scored on the other end for NC State while Johnson matched it to keep the Tar Heels within a single point at 39-28 with 12:18 remaining on the clock.
Turner knocked down a shot from the perimter to ignite the crowd and give the Wolfpack the 42-38 advantage with 11:37 to play.
Paige popped a huge three-point shot to close Carolina to within a trio of points midway through the second half, but Warren answered him for NC State. The home Wolfpack were leading 46-43 with 10:09 to play.
McDonald ran the floor for his first points of the game to keep pace with the suuddenly hot shooting Wolfpack, led by Warren.
Jordan Vandenberg knocked down a pair of foul shots to extend the Wolfpack lead out to 52-45 with 8:55 to go.
Paige was to the rescue again with a snipe from behind the arc to keep Carolina in the game, down 52-48. Warren crucially picked up his fourth foul of the game at the 8:01 mark. The lead was trimmed down to one point once again at 52-51.
Tokoto showed off his athleticism with a foray inside that resulted in a score to give UNC a 53-52 edge with 6:39 to play in the contest.
Lee hit a long-range three-pointer to reclaim the lead for the Wolfpack, but Paige responded again with a make of his won to move Carolina back into the pole position.
Vandenberg finished up a missed shot with a high-flying slam to the delight of the PNC Arena crowd. NC State held a 57-56 advantage with 5:03 left on the clock.
It was turning into a back-and-forth affair in the closing minutes of the game as Tokoto edged the Tar Heels back in front with a score out of a timeout.
Vandenberg blocked a Johnson shot and the Wolfpack were trailing 60-59 with just 3:26 to go.
Nate Britt calmly worked his way to the foul line, nailing down both shots to stake Carolina out to a 62-60 lead, but Warren answered for the Wolfpack to make it a tie game at 62-62 with 2:37 to go in the game.
It was Britt he found himself at the foul line yet again. This time, with the same result, netting both.
Warren answered back with a floater that found the nets to tie the game at 64-64 with 1:39 on the clock. The Tar Heels responded with a couple makes by Paige from the foul line. With 1:23 to play, NC State took a timeout down 66-64.
Warren was the answer again with a make to tie the game up at 66. Paige answered with a big three-pointer, but Turner did the same, tying the game at 69 points with seconds remaining.
NC State had a chance with the ball to win the game, but a loose ball was recovered by UNC, and Paige was fouled. He made both attempts to give Carolina the 771-69 advantage with 3.6 ticks remaining.
Warren was fouled on the inbound pass, sending him to the line for two shots to tie the game. He made both, tying the game at 71 points with 1.5 seconds remaining.
Carolina passed the ball to midcourt and took a timeout with .8 seconds left. Paige’s three-point try was no good and the game was sent to overtime.
Entering overtime, both teams had foul trouble with UNC’s McDonald and Johnson with four and NC State’s Anya and Warren with four as well.
It was Warren who drew first blood in the overtime period to the roar of the crowd. And it was Warren who got back to the foul line after a defensive stop for NC State. He made both to give the Wolfpack the 75-71 lead with 3:10 to play in extra minutes.
Warren took the game over and drove inside for a score and a foul to give the home team the 77-71 advantage. Paige made a clutch three-pointer with hands in his face to reduce the deficit down to three points at 77-74 with 2:36 to play.
Turner popped a three-pointer to extend the Wolfpack lead, but the Tar Heels responded with a basket of their own by Johnson. Warren was just proving too much for the Tar Heels on the night, knocking down another jumper.
It was Paige to the rescue again for Carolina, calmly sinking a long bomb in response. NC State was holding an 82-79 advantage with 1:22 left in overtime.
Paige was fouled following a made free throw by Tyler Lewis. He made both to reduce the Wolfpack lead down to two points with 40 seconds remaining in the overtime.
The Tar Heels got the ball back with 36.9 seconds remaining off an NC State turnover. And Carolina tied it up at 83-83.
But a foul was called on the Tar Heels. Warren was sent to the line. He made one to give NC State the 84-83 edge, but it was Paige who had the ball last, kissing a ball off the glass for the incredible victory.
Next up for the Tar Heels is a road game at Virginia Tech on Saturday.
Click here for the game photo gallery.
UNC Head Coach Roy Williams says N.C. State star T.J. Warren presents all sorts of problems for both the Carolina defense and the rest of the ACC.
“He’s really hard to guard. It’s not like he gets out there and they clear the floor and let him go one-on-one or anything. He gets all of it within the offense. He shoots a great percentage. To me, that’s the biggest key,” Coach Williams says.
Even though Carolina held down Warren for a majority of the first half in Carolina’s 84-70 home win against N.C. State on Feb. 1, Coach Williams says there was no way he was pleased with his defense that day.
“I think that our defense is getting better and better. But against State last time, they shot 65 percent against us in the second half. I wasn’t going to be bragging about our defense that day I guarantee it,” Coach Williams says.
Coach Williams says he’s not worried about any NCAA Tournament bracket projections this time of the year. He instructs his team to stay focused and keep playing hard. If they do that, he says “good things can happen”.
“Guys, we just got to play. You just got to play. If you play, it takes care of everything. The only thing I said to you and my team is that we were in a big hole, and they dug themselves out and put us in position. Now some good things can happen,” Coach Williams says.
There are a couple question marks for the N.C. State contest. Kennedy Meeks and Leslie McDonald are both banged up; although both assured reporters they planned on being out on the court with their team.
Coach Williams says he’s unsure about Meeks’ preparedness for the game because so far, his preparation has been restricted to a very different domain from a basketball court: the swimming pool.
“Kennedy didn’t do anything except go swimming. I don’t know how that’s going make him more consistent. Maybe his backstroke will help?” Coach Williams says.
The Tar Heels lead the all-time series against the Wolfpack 149-76 and will be hoping to complete a series sweep Wednesday night.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heels-7/
With the loss, the Wolfpack dropped to 22-4 overall and 9-3 in conference action.
The Tar Heels handed the Wolfpack their first home defeat of the season at Reynolds Coliseum to complete the season sweep over their rivals.
Diamond DeShields again delivered a world class performance in a hostile environment, leading Carolina with 38 points, a career high for the freshman sensation.
Allisha Gray was also a key player in the victory, scoring 15 of her 18 total points in the second half to hold off some inspired play from the Wolfpack who shot 46 percent from the floor in the second half.
But the Tar Heels were even better, shooting 59 percent after halftime and 55 percent overall in the game.
N.C. State senior Kody Burke led her team with 18 points Sunday.
Next up for the Tar Heels is a road trip up to Charlottesville to face the Virginia Cavaliers on Thursday.
The Wolfpack will be hungry to exact some revenge on the Tar Heels after dropping their game at Carmichael Arena earlier in the season.
A victory for the Tar Heels Sunday would give them a season sweep of their rivals and extend their winning streak against the Wolfpack out to 6 games.
Freshmen Allisha Gray and Diamond DeShields have been starring for Carolina lately. Gray is averaging 21.7 points and 8.7 rebounds over the last three contests while DeShields was a vital reason the Tar Heels came up with the upset at Duke last Monday night.
The game is scheduled to tip at 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on 97.9 FM, WCHL and nationally televised on ESPN2.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/acc-clash-set-sunday-tar-heels-face-revenge-minded-wolfpack/
CHAPEL HILL – The UNC men’s basketball team downed N.C. State 84-70 Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill to even its ACC record at 4-4 and record a third straight victory with a determined defensive effort that stymied N.C. State star T.J. Warren for most of the contest.
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MBB NCSU Final WRAP MDO
With the win, UNC Head Coach Roy Williams preserved his perfect record, at 11-0, against N.C. State in the Dean Smith Center. With the loss, the Wolfpack fell to 14-8 overall and 4-5 in conference play.
The Tar Heels set an aggressive tone early with James Michael McAdoo’s physical play inside. And the defensive intensity was ratcheted up by Carolina. The Tar Heels were challenging every shot and recorded 6 blocks.
Carolina’s trips to the free throw line piled up, making more foul shots than N.C. State even attempted, telling the story of their aggressive brand of basketball, taking it to the youthful Wolfpack.
After the game, Coach Williams said he was pleased with the improved foul shooting of his team.
“We were more aggressive and got to the line, and except for James Michael [McAdoo] everybody shot them really, really well,” Coach Williams said.
***Listen to Roy Williams’ postgame press conference***
Leslie McDonald led the way for the Tar Heels with 20 points while N.C. State’s Warren tallied a team-leading 21 points. McAdoo tallied 16 points on the day to provide a balanced attack for Carolina. The Tar Heels shocked the visiting Wolfpack early in the game, jumping out to a quick 18-4 lead and never looked back from there.
“Well, I think it does say something about the kind of kids that we have, no matter if we’re 0-3 or 1-4. Our kids stuck with it and tried to do what we asked them to do every day in practice, they’ve worked hard, and I really believe that we’re getting better as a team,” Coach Williams said.
McAdoo won the opening tipoff for the Tar Heels and wasted no time making his intentions clear. He drove it right inside to pick up a foul.
Warren got to the line on the other end of the floor, but he missed both, showing some early nerves. Meeks netted a pretty fall-away jumper to stake Carolina out to an early 3-0 lead.
Paige came up with an emphatic block that Leslie McDonald turned into points on the other end. The Tar Heels had come to play with the 6-0 advantage.
N.C. State got on the scoreboard on the following possession. But it was the home team with the 7-2 lead with 17:20 to play in the first half.
McDonald threw up an air ball to deflate a little bit of energy out of the jovial Smith Center crowd, and a timeout was called with 15:53 remaining in the first half. The Tar Heels were up 7-2 on the Wolfpack.
After the break, a shot clock violation was enforced on N.C. State thanks in large part to a ferocious block by McAdoo.
Paige drilled in a two-point basket to increase the Tar Heel advantage out to 9-2. And then Paige was fouled on a three-point attempt. He converted on all three of them.
Warren responded with a clean-up score on the other end to close the gap to eight points, but a Tokoto make extended the lead out to 14-4 with 13:15 to play in the half.
Tokoto and Nate Britt tag-teamed a fast break opportunity and Tokoto finished. Carolina had the 18-4 advantage.
Meeks drained a fade away shot yet again to match an easy layup for the Wolfpack. UNC led 20-6 with 11:09 to go in the opening half.
N.C. State’s Cat Barber provided a spike in intensity back to the floor for his team, and he ran the length of the floor for an easy layup to cut the deficit down to ten with 9:10 to play in the first half.
The zone defensive adjustment was stymying the Carolina attack, but McAdoo broke through with a make and opened the floodgates once again. The Tar Heels held the 25-14 advantage with 6:34 on the first half clock.
With 4:54 on the clock, Brice Johnson muscled his shot in the hoop, but Warren scored for N.C. State. The scoreboard read 30-16 in favor of the home Tar Heels with 3:45 to go in the opening half.
Lennard Freeman did some nice work in the paint to close the gap down to 13 points. Paige answered immediately with a score to extend the margin back out to 15.
Tokoto’s impressive performance continued as he swished a shot from behind the arc t hand UNC the 38-21 advantage.
At the half, Carolina was out to a dominant 40-23 lead. UNC was shooting at a 42.4 percent clip as a team while N.C. State was shooting a mere 25 percent from the floor at the halfway point.
Paige was leading the Tar Heels in scoring with 11 points. Warren led the way for the Wolfpack with eight points.
McAdoo slammed one home to give UNC the 47-27 second half lead with under 18 minutes to play in the contest.
Barber nailed down a timely bucket to get the Wolfpack within 16 points at 49-33 with 15:35 remaining in the game.
Meeks responded by battling in the paint, eventually picking up the foul. The freshman made both.
Desmond Lee found a lane to the rim and took it, decreasing the Tar Heel advantage down to 53-37 with 13:27 to play.
Johnson responded with a beautiful jumper to hold off the Wolfpack momentum at the moment.
The momentum was definitely beginning to turn in favor of the visiting N.C. State squad. The Wolfpack were playing much more aggressively and simplifying the game plan to attack the basket.
Britt ran the floor and slid the ball through the nets to halt the N.C. State charge. McDonald followed his lead with a make that caused Wolfpack Head Coach Mark Gottfried to call timeout with 10:20 left on the clock. Tar Heels maintained a 59-42 advantage.
McAdoo and Johnson stepped up to provide more spark for the Carolina attack. The Tar Heel faithful rose to their feet.
It was all one-way traffic with under eight minutes to play. McDonald’s confidence in his shot was growing as he knocked down another deep try. Carolina held the 68-46 lead.
Lee was handling the bulk of the load for the Wolfpack, trying to keep N.C. State in the contest, but the physicality of Carolina was noticeable as McAdoo earned another trip to the line.
Warren started to sink all his shots at the close of the game, but it was a case of too little too late for N.C. State.
It was UNC that walked out of the game with a coveted victory to sink its teeth back into the ACC and NCAA race.
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