Tar Heels Basketball: UNC sails past Boston College


The North Carolina Tar Heels avoided the classic “trap game” ahead of their Monday matchup with Louisville. Instead the Tar Heels used a balanced attack to pull away from Boston College and remain undefeated in ACC play with a 89-62 win.

The game was sluggish from the start with both teams not finding a groove early on. Despite missing their first eight free throw attempts, the Tar Heels managed to weather a small storm as the Eagles shot just over 60 percent to begin the game.

But the Tar Heels (19-2, 8-0 ACC)  would get on track using a 15-0 first half run to open up a 41-30 lead at halftime.

Then it was all Tar Heels in the second half, as they didn’t allow the Eagles to score a basket until the 14:12 mark.The Tar Heels defense also forced 23 turnovers by the Eagles which helped them propel to the big 27 point win.

Senior forward Brice Johnson continued his hot play with another double-double, giving him twelve on the season. Johnson finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the team in both categories. Then there was Marcus Paige who Tar Heels fans hope has broken out of his slump. The senior guard finished with 12 points and four rebounds on the game.

Perhaps one of the biggest moments came when Paige hit his first three-point attempt of the game as the crowed erupted in cheers. Paige gave a sign of relief as he looked into the rafters of the Dean Dome for a few seconds after the bucket.

With the win, the Tar Heels now have a full two-game lead over Louisville after Virginia upset the Cavaliers on the road. UNC and Louisville will meet Monday night on ESPN.

Three keys

Return of the Marcus

The Tar Heels guard seems like he’s broken out of his slump, hitting two three-pointers in the first half as he finished with eight points at the break.

While the Tar Heels have received contributions from other players while Paige has struggled, they still need the guard to get going. With a tough stretch ahead of them, Paige hopefully finding his groove again will be a major key. Now lets see if he can be consistent again.

Room to improve

Yes, the Tar Heels are unbeaten in ACC play. Yes, they are riding a 12 game win streak. But believe it or not there is still some room for improvement.

While they won by double-digits, the second half had a weird feel to it. At one point the Eagles went on a little run to cut the lead to 13, causing Roy to almost slam his chair down in the timeout huddle. With the Eagles turning the ball over so much, it was a little frustrating seeing the Tar Heels struggle a bit.

It’s not the end of the world but with a tough stretch coming up, UNC must play their ‘A’ game if they want to lock up the ACC this year.

Joel Berry continues consistent play

Outside of Brice Johnson, I don’t think there has been a more consistent player for North Carolina than guard Joel Berry II. The sophomore guard has really developed into a good player and one Williams can trust handling the ball.

Berry II finished with 13 points and 6 assists on Saturday, but perhaps his most impressive stat was that he didn’t turn the ball over. It was Berry’s third-straight game without a turnover and fourth out of his last five without one.