Coming into this game, a lot was made of the fact that Louisville was playing their first game since February 1st after having to go on pause because of COVID-19 reasons. The Cardinals were definitely rusty. That being said, oh man that performance.
North Carolina played probably their most complete game of the season, routing 99-54. In a game that lopsided, there were several very good performance from Tar Heel players. There were two that really stood above the rest, and one in particular that gets our player of the game.
Day’Ron Sharpe was all over the place for UNC, leading both teams in points and rebounds, going for 21 and 11. He was also an extreme annoyance for Louisville on the other end of the court as well, blocking two shots, and even coming up with a steal. His 1-5 effort from the free throw line needs to be improved on, but other than that, it was all positive for Sharpe.
The game was close for most of the first half. At one point, the Tar Heels took the lead out to seven points, but they were quickly reeled back in. With a little under nine minutes left, Sharpe checked back in with Carolina up three. Over the rest of the half, he scored 10 points, with one rebound and a block. By the time the half was over, UNC led by 19. In retrospect, the game was basically over there. However, it was really put to bed over the first 10 minutes of the second half. In his first stint on the court after the break, Sharpe added another two points, two rebounds, an assist, and a block. The lead was well over 20 by then. He added more to his box score down the stretch, turning an easy 20-point win into the domination it became.
Coming in a very close second was fellow freshman Kerwin Walton, who had quite the day himself. Walton went for 19 points on 7-10 shooting, knocking down five threes.
As mentioned, much of the first half was back and forth, before UNC eventually took over and ran away with things. Walton was a big reason why the Heels were never in any real trouble. After Louisville had gotten things close, Walton scored 11 of Carolina’s 15 points (Sharpe had the other four), giving the Heels the lead for good.
You can’t go wrong with either of those two, but there were some other good performers for the Heels.
In addition to Sharpe, it was a big day for pretty much all of the UNC big men. Armando Bacot score 14 points on 7-8 shooting with nine rebounds. Garrison Brooks had 12. Walker Kessler was a nice spark off the bench, scoring 10 points in just 12 minutes on the floor.
While this wasn’t a must win game for UNC, considering the circumstances, it was one they really needed. They got it emphatically thanks to Sharpe, Walton, and pretty much everyone who played.