Last year’s Carolina basketball team finished conference play with six wins in the ACC. This year’s version of the Tar Heels picked up their sixth ACC win on January 26th, beating Pitt on the road 75-65 behind an impressive effort from Armando Bacot.
Bacot finished the game with 21 points and ten rebounds. He was narrowly bested in scoring by Pitt’s Justin Champagnie, who attempted to carry his entire team on his back but came up a bit short. The Panthers cut the lead to five with less than four minutes left when they went on a 13-2 run before a Bacot basket and a Caleb Love three-pointer turned the tide back toward the Heels for good. Pitt then went on a 3+ minute scoring drought to close out the game that ultimately let the Tar Heels pull away.
Joining Bacot in double figures was Garrison Brooks with 16 points and ten rebounds and Kerwin Walton with ten points on 2-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Love fouled out of the game late with just eight points but he did have five assists and just one turnover in the game, continuing his better play as of late in those departments.
The team shot an impressive 52% from the floor against a good Pittsburgh team. They out-rebounded the Panthers 37-29 and doubled them up in second chance points, 18-9. The Heels were a clearly aggressive team that used their strength down low the way they should with such an advantage. It all paid off for them, and they led for all but three minutes of game time.
Pittsburgh shot the ball better in the second half after a 33% mark in the first. However, as good as they shot it, Carolina shot it even better. UNC was 17-28 from the field after halftime, good enough for a 61% field goal percentage. They got assists on 22 of their 32 made baskets.
Tonight continued a trend for this UNC team of really rounding into form as their ACC schedule gets tougher. They’ve played really well as of late and have all the results to show for it except for the loss to Florida State. The schedule ahead is rough with back-to-back road games at Clemson and at Duke, but neither team is playing overly inspiring basketball at the moment. Carolina has a real chance to make some noise if they can pick up a few more wins.
Unless there is a schedule change in the next couple days, UNC’s next game will be Tuesday at Clemson. We’ll be sure to let you know if that changes.