Stop me if you’ve heard this before: that was ugly. UNC’s season so far has been about surviving sloppy games, and Wednesday afternoon was no exception against Alabama. The Tar Heels turned the ball over 20 times, but they were able to use their size inside to out-rebound Alabama 60-31 while scoring 40 points in the paint to win the game 76-67.
A lot of that scoring inside came courtesy of Garrison Brooks, who tied his career-high with 20 points and seven rebounds. Armando Bacot had another double-double with 12 points (all in the second half) and 15 boards of his own. Their size was an obvious problem for the Crimson Tide, and they were able to assert their will down low.
Carolina needed every bit of that will to be asserted because John Petty Jr. and Kira Lewis Jr. lit them up offensively. Petty hit five threes in the first half and another two in the second half on his way to 23 points. Lewis had 20 points of his own, and they were the only two Alabama players with more than seven points.
The scoring for UNC was much more balanced. Outside of Brooks and Bacot, Cole Anthony and Brandon Robinson were also in double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Leaky Black fell one point and one rebound short of a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. Anthony and Brooks were the primary offenders when it came to turnovers with six and five. Cole did have six assists, and would have had a few more had the shots actually fallen.
With Alabama sinking 11 of their shots from three and UNC only making five of theirs, the return of Brandon Robinson was all the more important. He had three of the Heels’ five shots from long distance in his first game back from injury. Improving their three-point shooting will be pretty crucial for Carolina as they move into conference play. Thankfully, Robinson can be a huge boost in that department.
So the game was sloppy. Sloppy games are frustrating, and I’m sure that Roy Williams is going to let the team hear about it. They have to let it go and move on to preparing for Michigan tomorrow. The Wolverines are the best team the Tar Heels have faced all season, and they’ll need to be sharper next time out in order to stay undefeated as the Battle 4 Atlantis rolls on.