North Carolina showed a new wrinkle with starting forward Pete Nance out with a sore back against Notre Dame on Saturday. The Tar Heels looked big while playing small in their 81-64 win over the Fighting Irish.
Freshman guard Seth Trimble replaced Nance in the lineup, and the Hills started the way they finished strong in a win over Wake Forest. UNC coach Hubert Davis was comfortable enough to play four guards, so his players switched every pick on defense.
Carolina played nearly the entire first half as it has this season, going up 41-28, holding the Irish to 38 percent shooting from the field and outrebounding them by nine.
UNC guard Caleb Love ended his losing streak on the opening basket when Armando Bacot dropped the ball off a layup and found himself open in the left corner for a 3-pointer. Love scored 13 of his 18 points in the first half on 5-for-8 shooting.
He shot just 6-for-24 in the last two games and made just three of his last 15 3-pointers, starting in the win over Michigan.
Bakot again showed that he is better at handling double teams, dishing out four assists for 21 points and 13 rebounds.
That’s a good sign for Carolina heading into Tuesday’s game at Virginia knowing the Cavaliers’ doubles have been a constant headache for Baco.
Carolina has blown leads before, but what was new against Notre Dame was how it handled a big lead.
Heels usually allowed teams to hang around and stay within striking distance. They didn’t give the Irish that window.
Notre Dame scored on a five-point possession when JJ Starling made a basket and Trimble was called for an off-ball foul that gave the ball back to the Irish. When Cormac Ryan made a 3-pointer that cut the deficit to 61-54, it was the first — and only — time the Irish were within 10 points in the second half.
The Heels responded with a 14-5 run to take a 75-59 lead and were never challenged again.
UNC vs. Notre Dame College Basketball: Who Won? Final score
Source link UNC vs. Notre Dame College Basketball: Who Won? Final score