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UNC vs. UC Riverside - Player of the Game: Armando Bacot

Bacot was one of several Tar Heels to put in good performances in a straight-forward win on Friday night.

NCAA Basketball: UC Riverside at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina’s 77-52 win against UC Riverside on Friday night wasn’t much of game. Other than when the Highlanders briefly led 4-2 early on the game, UNC controlled the vast majority of the game, with the led in double digits from the 11 minute mark of the first half on.

The Tar Heels being in control for that long led to a fairly balanced stat sheet, but there’s one person whose line stood out just a little bit larger. Armando Bacot didn’t grab quite enough rebounds to extend his double-double school record, but he still lead the way for the Tar Heels, as UC Riverside found him difficult to deal with down low. Bacot put up a game high 21 points, knocking down 7-11 field goal attempts, which included one three-pointer. He also put up seven rebounds, an assists, two blocks, and a +23 plus/minus. He was also part of a defensive effort that held the Highlanders’ frontcourt to 11-31 from the field, several of the makes which came late in the game when it was already well over.

Bacot did a lot of his damage in the first half, recording 14 of his points and four of his rebounds. The first half was also the one time in the game where UNC looked even somewhat iffy, shooting just 41.2% in the opening 20 minutes. However, the game never truly got close in that time thanks in large part to Bacot keeping the scoreboard ticking over in that time.

Besides him, there were a couple other notable performances, several of whom you could make a POTG argument for. Harrison Ingram put up a near double-double with 10 points and 9 boards. Jalen Washington showed a bit of range, knocking down two threes in an 11-point, 5-rebound effort. Seth Trimble showed off on both ends of the floor in an 11-point effort and a +13 plus/minus in just 15 minutes. His performances also included this nasty dunk.

Despite the 25-point final margin of victory, this game certainly wasn’t the cleanest effort from the Tar Heels. They still went just 6-21 from three, with half of those makes coming from players who won’t exactly be firing away against stiffer competition. However, UNC still came away with a very comfortable win and were never in any real danger thanks to some good performances from the likes of Armando Bacot.