North Carolina suffered another tough defeat on Monday night on the road in John Paul Jones Arena, falling to the Virginia Cavs 76-61. The Heels have now dropped to 1-4 on the season in ACC play, and showed no signs of improvement in front of a national audience on ESPN. The Heels now have to regroup again and prepare for Clemson and Georgia Tech in the next 10 days.
UNC shot 41.3% from the floor in the game, including a strong 5-11 performance from James Michael McAdoo (11 points, 5 boards,) and another solid one from Kennedy Meeks (15 points, nine rebounds.) Marcus Paige and Leslie McDonald, UNC’s two best perimeter shooters, fumbled their way to a 8-26 combined shooting night and 19 combined points.
Leading the Cavaliers was the duo of Malcolm Brogdon and Joe Harris, both of whom finished with 16 points. UVA shot 8-20 (40%) from three and a solid 26-55 (47.3%) from the field. Tony Bennett has to be happy with his squad’s performance, and they are now 5-1 in ACC play, good for second place in the league behind Syracuse.
North Carolina just didn’t fight back against the Hoos, who made a run at the end of the first half to push the lead to double digits and never looked back. All throughout the second half, a run of 6 or 7 points would have put the Heels right back in the game. But UNC was unable to muster up any sort of run, and in the end, conceded defeat to the red-hot Virginia squad.
The Tar Heels lack of balance and three point shooting again showed in this contest, as the Heels made just 4 of 15 three pointers on the night, a frightful 26.7%. Its hard to win basketball games in the Atlantic Coast Conference when you fail to put up 60 points consistently and when you have to rely on interior buckets by big men for all your scoring. Also, free throw shooting plagued the Heels once again- UNC was 5-12 at the line tonight.
Its been tough to follow this North Carolina team, because they just can’t put the ball in the basket with any rhythm and struggle to compete with their opponents not in terms of talent but in terms of effort. One final point to leave you with on this day night in North Carolina basketball fandom. Quite possibly the most disappointing part about this stretch of basketball for North Carolina is the lack of improvement! The same issues coming up 5 weeks ago are still rearing their ugly heads in games like tonight.