UNC basketball needed a win following back-to-back losses to Purdue and Tennessee over the weekend, and they managed to get that against UNC Asheville before pausing for a turkey break this week. A win is a win, but the game did little to calm the fears from over the weekend and even before with a fairly disappointing performance from the Tar Heels.
Carolina turned the ball over 18 times, directly leading to 19 points for UNC Asheville. It sounds like a broken record to keep harping on the fact that better teams would not allow them to get away with those kind of shenanigans, but such an ugly statistic against inferior competition is definitely concerning. The Heels were never really able to comfortably put the Bulldogs away until late, which is not what you want to hear when a team is shooting under 30% for the game.
Armando Bacot led Hubert Davis’ squad with 22 points and seven rebounds with RJ Davis being the only teammate to join him in double figures with 12 points. Leaky Black just missed out on a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds after he had to miss the Purdue game with an illness. Davis was the main offender in turnovers with four, but 18 for the team meant that he was far from the only one responsible for the sloppy play. If not for the huge discrepancy in rebounding — UNC won the battle 51-29, and had 14 second chance points — this is a much more uncomfortable game.
It’s hard to put too much shine on this game when the numbers speak for themselves. If UNC is as talented as they should be on paper, then tonight’s performance was pretty inexcusable. It’s definitely not the beat-em-down rebound we’ve been accustomed to UNC teams laying down on inferior competition after a disappointing loss in the past. For a decent stretch of the second half, Asheville had kept it to within single digits despite never sniffing a lead. That was with barely shooting 25% in the second half.
Now feels like a good time to put the stick down and stop beating the dead horse. Tonight wasn’t great and it’s not going to go on any highlight reels. We have to hope that the team takes the long break to get right before things pick back up, because playing like they did tonight will not result in many more wins down the stretch.
The Tar Heels are back in action on December 1st against Michigan in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.