UNC Basketball: Tar Heels streak past Tigers

CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 16: Kenny Williams
CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 16: Kenny Williams /

The North Carolina Tar Heels and the Clemson Tigers faced off in an important conference game in Chapel Hill.


That is what the Tar Heels record is against the Clemson Tigers following North Carolina’s eight-point home win.

That record has now spanned 92 years, 16 presidents, 14 Clemson Head Coaches, and four different Tar Heel home courts.

What looked like a blow out early though, turned into a nail-biter late. So what all happened in the Tar Heels 87-79 win?

The Game

The Tar Heels started the first half off hot. After Clemson hit a three to tie the game at five just two minutes in, North Carolina went on a 13-0 run, a lead which the Tar Heels would not relinquish the rest of the half.

However, after the hot start, UNC went cold.

The Tar Heels went scoreless nearly four and half minutes. The only thing that kept UNC ahead during that streak was that Clemson also struggled.

Despite getting into the bonus with 6:39 to go, the Tigers only cut the lead to nine, because they went an abysmal 4-of-10 from the free throw line.

The scariest thing to happen in the first half though happened with just under two minutes in the half. Luke Maye had to be taken off the court with blood gushing from his face. He was immediately taken to the locker room.

Maye would return later in the second half after what ended up being a cut on his nose.


The second half saw the Tar Heels come out hot and build their lead up to 18 behind the play of Joel Berry II and Cam Johnson. Berry, who had no field goals in the first half, finished with points.

Johnson meanwhile was part of a three-point barrage from the Tar Heels who hit 15 threes in the game,

However, the Tigers were not easily disposed of. A flurry of shots saw that 18 point lead get as close as two.

Clemson was so hot at one point they hit 15-straight shots, which helped them trim down UNC’s lead.

The Tigers got big nights from the guard trio of Gabe DeVoe, Marcquise Reed, and Shelton Mitchell who combined for 50 points while hitting nine threes from beyond the arc.

However, despite that, the Tar Heels were able to hold on, mainly behind the workmanlike effort of Theo Pinson. Pinson finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three blocks, and a steal.

Player of the Game

Cam Johnson. Johnson had a game and season-high 21 points for the Tar Heels. Johnson was 6-for-9 from beyond the arc and had 16 of his points in the second half.

Notable Stat

88.4. That is what the Tar Heels assist to made basket percentage was. North Carolina finished with 23 assists on 26 made field goals. It is hard to lose when a team is moving the ball like that.

What’s Next

Up next for North Carolina is a home game against Georgia Tech. This the only time this season that the Tar Heels will have back-to-back conference home games.

They look to improve to 5-2 in ACC play.