|North Carolina State Wolf Pack||69|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||80|
Chapel Hill, North Carolina — UNC’s Armando Baco set two school records, including the all-time rebounding mark, and the Tar Heels beat NC State 80-69 on Saturday in Chapel Hill.
But the game was marred by a scary fall and injury to NC State star guard Terkavion Smith, who had to be carried off the court on a stretcher after suffering neck and elbow injuries after being fouled on a second-half play.
UNC’s Leakey Black fouled Smith and he fell hard to the ground. The game was stopped for about 11 minutes as Smith was examined by medical personnel. He left court with an apparent cast on his right arm and a towel covering his face.
He was immediately removed from the game and taken to the hospital.
“My prayers and thoughts are with Terkavion right now,” NC State coach Kevin Keatts said after the game. He said he had no news on Smith’s condition and was waiting. “It’s a very emotional situation for me right now. Obviously, the game is very important. I thought our guys fought, but at times like this, my prayers and thoughts always go out to the players.”
UNC coach Hubert Davis opened his postgame press conference by discussing Smith.
“He’s just an unbelievable kid and an unbelievable player, and you never want to see anybody get hurt or get hurt,” Davis said. “I hope and pray that he doesn’t get hurt or injured. He’s a fantastic player, I just wanted to talk about him and let you know that I didn’t like to see it.’
Black was assessed with two gross violations and excluded from the game.
“I knew Leakey Black, so I don’t think he’s going to play dirty,” Keats said.
The game was tied with 9:45 left in the second half. UNC led 59-49 at the time.
“I don’t think he had any bad intentions,” North Carolina State’s Casey Morsell said. “I just think there are other ways to try to make a play on the ball. Obviously he went with his head and T (Smith) got hit hard. It wasn’t necessary, but I don’t think he had bad intentions.”
Davis called Black a “sweet, good kid” and said Black asked for Smith’s number so he could contact him and make sure he was OK.
Smith was the Wolfpack’s leading scorer at 19.1 points per game. He scored 12 points in 24 minutes before the injury.
Bako sets records
Bakot, who had 23 points and 18 rebounds, became UNC’s all-time leader in rebounds and double-doubles in the win. He passed Tyler Hansbrough in rebounds and Billy Cunningham in double-doubles (double-digit points and rebounds in a game).
Hansbrough attended the game and was courtside with Bako for a quick ceremony after the game. Bakot needed 17 rebounds to surpass Hansbrough’s school record of 1,219 career tackles.
Bako now has 61 double-doubles in 119 career games, surpassing Cunningham’s mark of 60.
“The biggest feeling for a coach is knowing a player or a team, what they bring to the table every day,” Davis said. “And for Armando, that’s what I have in him. Every day, in practice, shooting around, the game, you know he’s going to give his best on both ends of the floor.”
“He is a fantastic player. He is one of the best players in Carolina history. I’m just very, very proud of him.”
RJ Davis scored 26 points, including 14 for 14 from the free throw line. Davis scored 10 points in UNC’s 12-0 run midway through the first half.
The Tar Heels took control of the game early in the second half with an 8-0 run that included six made free throws to extend their lead to 53-44.
NC State never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
DJ Burns and Jarkel Joiner led the Wolfpack with 18 points apiece.
UNC was 36 of 39 from the free throw line and set the record for free throw percentage in a game with 30+ attempts (92.3 percent). North Carolina entered the week with more free throws than any other ACC team and NC State allowed more free throws than any team in the league.
“I’ve never been in a game where a team makes 39 free throws,” said Keatts, whose team made all 12 of its attempts from the line. “It means we have to get a little more aggressive.”
Bacot, UNC top NC State, but game overshadowed by injury to Wolfpack star :: WRALSportsFan.com
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