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UNC vs. Ohio State - Player of the Game: Jalek Felton

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The freshman was a big part of a key first half that helped the Tar Heels take down the Buckeyes.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at North Carolina Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout much of the first half against Ohio State, UNC was not able to get any real separation. Luke Maye and Kenny Williams weren’t shooting great. Joel Berry didn’t have a terrible first half, but it wasn’t exactly great either. The Tar Heels didn’t look overly impressive and were letting Ohio State stick around.

Jalek Felton subbed in for the first time in the game with around eight minutes left in the first half. About a minute later, he hit a three. On UNC’s next position, he hit another three. After hitting a third, he then dished out assists on three of Carolina’s next four baskets.

Felton was involved in 17 of the Tar Heels’ 20 points as part of a run that turned a three-point deficit into a 14-point lead going into the half. The second half wasn’t always pretty for UNC, but after that run Ohio State never got back within less than nine points. UNC won relatively easily, and that had a lot to do with Felton providing a spark off the bench.

The freshman finished the game with 12 points on 4-5 shooting, five assists, and four rebounds. He had a +16 plus/minus when he was on the floor, and did that all in just 12 minutes. Some of the assists were also quite pretty looking passes. For instance, here’s one to Brooks from the first half:

Other solid performers from the game include Cameron Johnson. He went for 14 points and 5 rebounds, and also saw much more court time after his getting less than 20 minutes in his debut against Wofford.

The leading scorers for UNC were Berry and Theo Pinson, who both went for 19. Berry did his on 7-14 shooting, while Pinson went 10-10 from the free throw line.

Felton has had some ups and downs so far in his freshman season. The Wofford game was definitely a down. However, the fact that he could do all he did Saturday and be good enough to be a player of the game in just 12 minutes show just how much potential he has.