If it weren’t for one particular possession, Joel Berry would not have been the choice for the player of the game. However, it happened, and if it hadn’t, we might be talking about a UNC loss right now.
After a mostly average to mediocre performance from Berry and the Tar Heels, the senior hit a floater with 11 seconds left to put UNC up by two. They got a stop on the next possession and hit some free throws to seal the win.
It’s hard to argue that Berry played great, but he stepped up in the exact right moment. In a game where they easily could have lost, Berry hit the biggest shot of the day.
Joel Berry II.— Dadgum Box Scores (@dadgumboxscores) December 30, 2017
In addition to the go ahead shot, Berry did finish as the Tar Heels’ second leading scorer going for 16. He wasn’t the most efficient, though, after shooting just 7-17 and 2-8 from three. Berry also had six rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Elsewhere for the Tar Heels, Maye led the Tar Heels in scoring with 17, also getting 15 rebounds. However, he actually shot marginally worse than Berry going 7-18. Kenny Williams had 13, but again, he also didn’t shoot a great percentage, finishing 4-11.
The other strong choice for UNC’s player of the game would be Cam Johnson. He finished with 11 points on 4-7 shooting (3-4 from three), and also grabbed five rebounds. He was also on the court as part of the small lineup that went on runs to finish off both halves.
If you think Johnson should be the pick for player of the game, that’s totally understandable and not wrong. However, sometimes making the game winning shot matters. We only have a couple more months of Joel Berry in a UNC uniform. Might as well celebrate him while we can.