UNC Falls Flat in Littlejohn


(Photo: ACC Media)

CLEMSON, SC – North Carolina battled Tuesday after a 16-point deficit against Clemson, shooting within four points with 12:38 to go. The Tar Heels then self-destructs offensively, missing 13 of their last 15 field goal attempts and spitting out five turnovers in a 63-50 loss at Littlejohn Coliseum.

The Tar Heels (11-6, 6-4 ACC), who had won six of their last seven games, came out of a week of desynchronization. Clemson, who had lost four of his last five games averaging 24.5 points, took control with an 11-0 run in the first six minutes of play and increased his margin to 32-16 late in the game. First period.

UNC was effective at halftime, using an 8-0 push to get back to single-digit single digits. Garrison Brooks made a jump with 12:38 left to reduce the Tar Heels deficit to 42-38. That was all Clemson from that point on, as the home side have made seven of their last 13 field goal attempts.

The UNC posted season lows in points (50), half points (21), field goals (17) and field goal attempts (44).

Day’Ron Sharpe (16 points on 6 of 8 shots) was the only Tar Heel in double digits. Caleb Love and Kerwin Walton each scored nine points, while Brooks added eight points and nine rebounds. Hunter Tyson led the Tigers with 16 points on 5 of 11 shots.

The UNC passed Clemson, 38-28, including a 7-4 advantage on the offensive glass, but only managed a 6-5 advantage on second chance points. The Tar Heels were outclassed in paint, 26-18.

The Tigers forced 17 turnovers and scored 13 points on those errors. Clemson’s last five opponents averaged 18.6 points out of 13 turnovers, but UNC was unable to continue that trend, managing just six points out of seven forced turnovers.

NCAA CV Update
With the recent downfall of Pittsburgh – back-to-back losses to Wake Forest, UNC and Notre Dame – the Tar Heels were once again on the prowl for a Q1 win to boost their resumption of the NCAA tournament. Tuesday’s loss sent Roy Williams’ side 0-5 to Q1 opponents this season with four potential Q1 games remaining.

A lack of charity

UNC missed 10 of their 21 free throws in Tuesday’s loss. The Tar Heels draw 47.2% of the charity strip in their last three games (25 of 53).

Bacot locked up
Armando Bacot was UNC’s best player in the ACC game, averaging 13.4 points on 61.5 percent shots. Clemson apparently put the second player forward at the top of his scouting report as he held him without a first-half field goal attempt and blocked his only attempt after half-time.

Bacot, who averaged 8.7 field goal attempts in the UNC ACC’s first nine games, finished with one point, three rebounds, two turnovers and four fouls in 19 minutes.

Stumbling start
The Tar Heels have played a lot of bad first halves this season, although Tuesday’s effort is certainly up for the worst performance. UNC is 32-16 with 2:10 left despite shooting 46.2%. Ten turnovers and lack of offensive rebounds at this point limited the Tar Heels to points on 28% of their possessions, while Clemson was more effective with 13 scores from 27 possessions.

UNC’s 33-21 deficit matched its biggest halftime deficit of the season (Texas, Iowa).

Note tweet

The Tar Heels travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on rival Duke on Saturday (6 p.m. / ESPN). It will be the first game between the two programs as unranked teams since February 27, 1960. The Blue Devils are 7-6 (5-4 ACC) after Monday’s 77-75 loss to Miami.

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