• Fri. Nov 25th, 2022

Lucas: Portland Rapid Reactions – University of North Carolina Athletics

ByDenise T. Tatum

Nov 24, 2022

By Adam Lucas

1. Carolina avoided a Thanksgiving disaster by outlasting Portland, 89-81. The Pilots used a versatile offense and assisted 22 of 28 field goals to make the game much tighter than expected. credit to RJ Daviswho didn’t have a great day overall but led the Heels with five assists because he drilled a clutch jumper with 24 seconds left to give him some breathing room and then drilled a couple of free throws with 18.4 seconds left.

2. Peter Nance showed a tendency to be streaked in girth early in his Carolina career. He was consistently good on Thursday, hitting five of his eight three-pointers, several at key points in the second half. He had an important 20 points in the second half when the Tar Heels desperately needed them.

3. The offense was largely a nance and caleb love Production. The Tar Heel duo combined for 51 of Carolina’s points. They were helped by nine second-half rebounds in the final 20 minutes Armando Bacot, with six of them coming on the offensive glass. These boards were part of the Tar Heels’ first dominant performance of the season on the glass as they held a 37-22 advantage.

4. Thursday’s game went very strangely. Carolina raced to an 18-8 lead, but then saw that bulge melt away Hubert Davis started using his bench. And while it is true that the reserves were not productive in the first 20 minutes (a D’Marco Dunn three were UNC bench’s only points in that period, as they trailed Portland 13-3 in that category), two other things are also true: the Tar Heels need to find reliable reserves, and they’re playing over a five-period Playing away from 11 days. The final score on the bench was a whopping 25-3 in favor of the Pilots. D’Marco Dunn, Puff Johnson and Tyler Nickle were the only reserve players to play in the second half, accumulating five minutes between them.

5. Love’s 23 points took him over the 1,000 point mark and earned him a career 1,020. Making him the 80th Tar Heel to break the 1,000 mark, college basketball’s all-time leading scorer. Louisville has the second-highest 1,000-point club members at 69. Love went slightly past the mark in the first half when his 16 points were largely the reason the Tar Heels held a 40-38 advantage at the break. The junior either scored or assisted on 10 of Carolina’s 16 first-half field goals, and a very dedicated Love also had all three of Carolina’s first-half steals.

6. Tyler Robertson was one of the key players on Portland’s offense early in the season, leading the team with 17.5 points per game. Tasty black put him on the defensive on Thanksgiving and was very effective in the first half, limiting Robertson to just one field goal attempt. The shooter was marginally better in the second half, hitting four of his 11 shots. Most importantly, Carolina kept him off the free-throw line, where he made 24 attempts in a game against Portland State earlier this season.

7. Carolina has been a good team at free throw shooting for the past season, but the charity streak was a problem Thursday. The Tar Heels missed five straight free throws in a key stretch late in the second half, which helped keep the Pilots close. Armando Bacot eventually broke the streak by sinking the second of two tries coming from a time-out. Carolina finished a meager 13-22 from the line (59.1%).

8. Bacot’s 11-point, 13-rebound double-double tied Antawn Jamison at 51 in his Carolina career, the second-highest by a tar heel of all time. Billy Cunningham leads this category at 60.

9. The 10:00 local tip time required a few adjustments to the usual pre-game tar heel basketball routine. The program typically has a pre-game meal four hours before kick-off, but a 6 a.m. breakfast didn’t seem very appealing to college students, so it was moved to 7 a.m. Keep in mind that Carolina’s game against Baylor started at 11 a.m. in last year’s NCAA tournament, so the Heels have a more recent history of earlier starts. However, this was the earliest launch anyone could remember in the program’s history.

10. As you might expect, there was a lot of Nike-related celebrations surrounding the event. All teams attended an event on the Nike campus Wednesday night that included a behind-the-scenes tour of the campus and commentary from some of basketball’s key figures, including Roy Williams.

11. Williams was of course also present at the Moda Center on Thursday. In the half hour before the game, this led to a steady stream of people looking for pictures. The life of a semi-public figure is never normal; Imagine posing for dozens of selfies with strangers before 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving.

12. Carolina is now waiting for the Villanova-Iowa State winner to find out who they will play against tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. local time (5:30 p.m. Eastern time). Either way, the last meeting will not have been a pleasant one. Carolina’s last encounter with Iowa State was an 85-83 last-second loss at the NCAA tournament in 2013. The last time Villanova faced off was in the 2016 NCAA championship game, and we won’t talk about that.

13. The 5:30 p.m. East start time sets the stage for a busy day for Carolina Athletics. Tar Heel Football, of course, hosts NC State at 3:30 p.m. Eastern, a game that will be televised on all regular Tar Heel Sports Network outlets. THSN coverage of the basketball game will be available on the Varsity app, the GoHeels website and app, and locally on 102.5 FM.

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