For the fourth straight game, RJ Davis is the North Carolina Tar Heels’ player of the game.
The 81-69 victory over no. 7 Oklahoma was a team effort, and there were players up and down the bench who were vital to the win.
Yet, more than anyone else, Davis was always there in pivotal moments.
He broke the scoreless tie nearly three minutes into the game. His efforts on the floor continued as Carolina built a lead, and his three-pointer gave UNC its first 10-point lead of the game.
After Oklahoma brought the game back within a possession, Carolina started to creep ahead once again. Davis had a great assist on a Ryan Cormac layout to cap off a run late in the first half.
At halftime, Davis led all scorers with 10 points.
Davis had the first bucket of the second half, and much like the first, he was involved in critical moments.
Davis’s made jumper at the 11:35 mark put the Tar Heels up 14 and forced the Sooners to call a timeout to stop the run.
Oklahoma was making a run, and Davis’s three at the 2:45 mark put Carolina back up by eight.
A key rebound at the 43.9 mark put Davis at the free throw line. He made both free throws to make it a four-possession game and put the game out of reach.
Davis finished with 23 points, five assists, four rebounds, three steals, and zero turnovers.
You must think after the end of the Kentucky game that preventing turnovers was top of mind for Davis.
One of the most impressive facets of Davis’s game last night was his vision. He finished with five assists, which led all players.
Davis did not have as many free throw attempts as usual, but perhaps you can credit his shooting from beyond the arc. He finished five of nine from three. At over 55 percent from three last night, he was nearly 20 percentage points higher than his season average.
Overall, UNC’s defense was much better, and Davis finished second behind Harrison Ingram with three steals.
Davis was critical in limiting Oklahoma’s scoring from outside, especially in the first half. Perimeter defense has been a concern, and limiting the Sooners to 30 percent is one of those small victories.
From the eye test, Davis was better at closing gaps and getting off screens.
There is still a lot to work on, but handing the seventh-ranked team in the country its first loss of the season feels good.
Davis and the Tar Heels earned it tonight.