Carolina came out against Pitt looking like a completely different team than the one that failed to score a bucket for more than half of the first half against Georgia Tech on Saturday. They built a 14-point lead before ultimately going to the locker room up nine points at the half. Those were happier times.
The Tar Heels were a different, worse team in the second half. Pitt, who made just one of their ten three-point attempts in the first half, found success after success on wide open shots from beyond the arc. They made eight of their 12 attempts from distance after halftime. Trey McGowans and Justin Champagnie combined for 46 of Pitt’s points with eight of the team’s nine threes between them.
On UNC’s side, Garrison Brooks was once again the most effective Tar Heel. He finished the game with 21 points and made the first three of his career to avoid a shot clock violation. Armando Bacot played much better than we’ve seen of late on his way to finishing with 15 points. Brandon Robinson was the only other player for UNC in double figures with 13 points.
The Heels left a number of points at the free throw line, shooting just 57%. They missed seven of their 17 attempts and turned the ball over 17 times. Pitt scored 16 directly off those turnovers. Carolina scored just 28 points in the second half, and allowed 45 by the Panthers.
Despite the fact that UNC’s shooting percentage was high for a large chunk of the game, they were never able to get a comfortable lead after the half. They shot just 24% from long range with five of their 21 shots actually going in.
This felt like a game where something might have finally clicked. It looked, for a while, like they may even come away with a win that didn’t elevate everyone’s blood pressure. Instead, the collapse resulted in a win for Pitt that felt extremely inevitable down the stretch.
Carolina tries to keep the streak against Clemson alive on Saturday in Chapel Hill.