Back to Drawing Board for Fedora, Heels

UNC head football coach Larry Fedora was at a loss for words following his team’s 35-7 blowout loss to their rivals in red. The Tar Heels came into the contest on a high off the dominant Duke win, but the roles were reversed Saturday afternoon.

***Listen to the story***

Carolina’s football team couldn’t match the physicality and intensity of the N.C. State Wolfpack Saturday afternoon inside Kenan Stadium and as a result, finished the regular season with a disappointing 6-6 record.

Their Wolfpack rivals improved to 7-5 on the season and snapped a two-game losing slide to the Tar Heels.

***Click here for NCSU game recap***

Both UNC quarterback Marquise Williams and receiver Ryan Switzer were knocked out of the game by the relentless Wolfpack attack, and the enigmatic Carolina regular season came to a close with a resounding thud.

Coach Fedora wasn’t mincing any words after the game. He says he can’t remember a worse offensive output in his coaching career.

Mitch Trubisky was thrust into action Saturday (Elliott Rubin)

Mitch Trubisky was thrust into action Saturday (Elliott Rubin)

“You got to at least be decent up front, and we weren’t. We just didn’t have anybody make any plays. Give them credit. We didn’t match the energy level. That’s one of the worst offensive performances I’ve been around,” Coach Fedora says.

It’s hard to argue with the Carolina skipper. The Tar Heels only mustered 207 yards of total offense against the 454 yards racked up by the Wolfpack.

N.C. State shot out of the gates with high intensity and ruthless intention, dominating the line of scrimmage and delivering punishing blow after punishing blow to UNC signal caller Williams.

Carolina offensive lineman Landon Turner says the O-line’s struggles were all mental.

“I think before the game, everyone had plenty of energy. I think, mentally, somewhere down the line we lost some guys. It was more of a mental issue than a physical issue today,” Turner says.

The defensive line didn’t fare any better for the Tar Heels, giving up a whopping 388 rushing yards to the Wolfpack.

What’s more, N.C. State quarterback Jacoby Brissett ran all over the Tar Heels, setting his school’s single-game rushing record for a quarterback with 167 yards.

The only bright spot for the Tar Heels came with 1:48 remaining in the contest. Quinshad Davis tied Hakeem Nicks for the all-time career receiving touchdowns record with his 21st score.

There was plenty of red inside Kenan Stadium (Elliott Rubin)

There was plenty of red inside Kenan Stadium (Elliott Rubin)

But that was no consolation prize for the junior receiver. Davis says his team didn’t respond at all to N.C. State’s aggression.

“We felt like we were ready to go. They just hit us in the mouth, and we didn’t react. That’s that,” Davis says.

What’s next for the Tar Heel football team? The demoralized Tar Heels will now await their postseason bowl destination, likely a lower-tier bowl game.

But in the meantime, Coach Fedora says the coaching staff will hit the recruiting trail and the players will focus on finishing up their coursework strong.

“The coaches will be on the road recruiting. Our guys have got their last few days of class, so they’ll be concentrating on finishing up well in the classroom. We will probably lift them and run them some just to keep them moving around, but really we’ll try to give their bodies a break here,” Coach Fedora says.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/back-drawing-board-fedora-heels/

Wolfpack Thrashes Williams, Tar Heels

The North Carolina football team couldn’t match the physicality and intensity of the N.C. State Wolfpack Saturday afternoon inside Kenan Stadium and was soundly beaten 35-7.

With the win, the Wolfpack improved to 7-5 on the season, while the Tar Heels dropped to 6-6 overall with the defeat.

NC State huddle  (Elliott Rubin)

NC State huddle (Elliott Rubin)

Both Marquise Williams and Ryan Switzer were knocked out of the game by the relentless attack by the Wolfpack, and the enigmatic Carolina regular season came to a close with a resounding thud.

“Stunning is a good word. It was very disappointing. I was very surprised, actually. But, it’s what it was. No matter how you look at it, they dominated the line of scrimmage. It’s like what we did a week ago; it was the exact opposite this week. It’s hard to win a game when you don’t win upfront,” UNC head coach Larry Fedora says.

The Wolfpack shot out of the gates with high intensity and ruthless intention, dominating the line of scrimmage and delivering punishing blow after punishing blow to UNC quarterback Marquise Williams.

“That was definitely one of our worst games as an offensive line. It wasn’t a lack of ability. I think it was more of a mental gap. We got in our own heads today,” junior guard Landon Turner says.

The defensive line didn’t fare any better for the Tar Heels, giving up 388 rushing yards to the Wolfpack.

NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who set the single-game rushing record for rushing yards at his school with 167, capped off the 79-yard opening drive with a 17-yard touchdown run that gave the visitors a 7-0 lead with 11:02 on the first quarter clock.

Brissett followed that score up with another impressive drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown pass to sophomore tight end David Grinnage with 9:52 to play in the half.

UNC’s Thomas Moore missed a makeable 35-yard field goal attempt and the Wolfpack responded with a 4-yard touchdown dive from running back Shadrach Thornton to grab his team a 21-0 advantage at intermission.

Mitch Trubisky was thrust into action Saturday (Elliott Rubin)

Mitch Trubisky was thrust into action Saturday (Elliott Rubin)

The pounding on Williams didn’t stop after halftime. A venomous tackle left Williams flat on his back before being helped up and off the field early days in the third quarter.

A three-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Purvis at the close of an extended drive gave NC State an insurmountable 28-0 lead with 4:21 remaining in the third quarter.

To make matters worse, Ryan Switzer was pummeled on a punt return and stayed down on the ground for minutes before being helped off the field in the fourth quarter.

The only bright spot for the Tar Heels came with 1:48 remaining in the contest. Quinshad Davis tied Hakeem Micks for the all-time career receiving touchdowns record with his 21st score.

“Very, very proud of the NC State Wolfpack football team and our coaching staff and our players and the preparation. For two games in a row, we’ve dominated an in-state opponent, and that’s what it was – 388 yards rushing and held them to 30. It was a great performance, in all three phases, by a bunch of different people,” NC State head coach Dave Doeren says.

The demoralized Tar Heels will now await their postseason bowl destination, likely a lower-tier bowl game, after a disappointing 6-6 regular season finish.

FINAL BOX SCORE

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/wolfpack-thrashes-williams-tar-heels/

Tar Heels Try To Tame Wolfpack In Home Finale

The North Carolina football team, 6-5 overall and 4-3 in the ACC, closes out its regular season with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday afternoon against its rival from Raleigh – 6-5 N.C. State.

***Listen to the story***

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.

Williams back for the snap (Elliott Rubin)

Williams back for the snap (Elliott Rubin)

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.

Jacoby Brissett (NBC Sports)

Jacoby Brissett (NBC Sports)

“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/

Tar Heels Tame Wolfpack

The North Carolina baseball team survived elimination in the ACC Tournament by slipping past N.C. State 4-3 Tuesday at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro.

***Listen to the story***

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.

Greensboro's NewBridge Bank Park (ACC.com)

Greensboro’s NewBridge Bank Park (ACC.com)

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.

FINAL BOX SCORE

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heels-tame-wolfpack-4-3-win-advance-acc-tourney-pool-play/

Carolina-N.C. State Rivalry Resumes Tuesday in Greensboro

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.

***Listen to the story***

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/

Carolina Collides With NC State In Duel At The DBAP

The North Carolina baseball team will take on N.C. State Tuesday evening in the much anticipated Duel at the DBAP at 7 p.m. at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in downtown Durham.

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/

ACC Tourney: Thursday Thoughts (pt. II)

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.

image

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

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http://chapelboro.com/sports/acc/acc-tourney-thursday-thoughts-pt-ii/

Paige Outduels Warren as Tar Heels Get Season Sweep of Wolfpack

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.

***Listen to the story***

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.

Celebrations for Carolina (Todd Melet)

Celebrations for Carolina (Todd Melet)

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.

Frenzied Wolfpack fans. (Todd Melet)

Frenzied Wolfpack fans. (Todd Melet)

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.

Tokoto slam. (Todd Melet)

Tokoto slam. (Todd Melet)

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.

Intense focus and urgency from Paige (Todd Melet)

Intense focus and urgency from Paige (Todd Melet)

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.

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Final Box Score

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heels-complete-season-sweep-wolfpack/

No. 19 Tar Heels To Face Upset-Minded Wolfpack

The 20-7 Tar Heels are riding a nine-game winning streak, the longest streak since 2009, into PNC Arena to take on the upset-minded 17-10 Wolfpack.

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.

Tar Heel gathering (Todd Melet)

Tar Heel gathering (Todd Melet)

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/

DeShields Soars as Tar Heels Complete Sweep of Wolfpack

RALEIGH–The No. 17 North Carolina women’s basketball team defeated No. 10 North Carolina State Sunday afternoon 89-82 to improve to 20-6 on the season and 8-4 in ACC play.

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.

Final Box Score

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/deshields-soars-tar-heels-complete-sweep-wolfpack/