UNC Basketball: Tar Heels end skid in win over Panthers

CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 03: Cameron Johnson
CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 03: Cameron Johnson /

The North Carolina Tar Heels and the Pittsburgh Panthers faced off in an important conference game in Chapel Hill

There were four teams entering the day with 2,100 plus wins in the history of their programs, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, and North Carolina. All four played today. The first three of those lost. Would UNC make it four?

Despite some early struggles, the Tar Heels got hot offensively and not only kept the four schools from getting swept, but ended a three-game losing streak of their own.

In doing so, they sent Pittsburgh to their school-record 11th straight loss as the Tar Heels won 96-65.

The Game

Pittsburgh came out in the first half looking like most of UNC’s opponents of late; hot from behind the arc. The Panthers, who averaged just under eight three-pointers per game, hit eight in the first half.

The hot shooting kept the game close and saw Pittsburgh leading by one with 3:24 to go in the first half. However, that is when the Tar Heels took over. UNC outscored the Panthers 14-3 to end the half and never looked back.

North Carolina did that behind some big shooting, hitting 11 three-pointers, including three from Kenny Williams who appeared to break out of his shooting slump in the second half. He finished the game with 15 points.

The Tar Heels also got a sigh of relief with the return of Theo Pinson. Pinson had a big game, even though he only scored two points (on a monster jam in the second half). The senior did everything else, finishing with 13 rebounds and eight assists.

Player of the Game


Luke Maye. After scoring just four points in the loss to Clemson, Maye had a stellar game against the Panthers.

The junior finished with 26 points and eight rebounds. It was his 11th 20-point game of the season.

Maye also went 5-for-5 from the free throw line after failing to get there in the loss to the Tigers.

Notable Stat

Four and Seven. Pittsburgh became the fourth straight and seventh in the past eight team to hit at least 10 threes against the Tar Heels. The good news is that, like at Clemson, most of them came in the first half (the Panthers shot 12.5 percent from behind the arc in the second half).

The better news is that most of the ones in the first half were contested. The Tar Heels looked a lot more focused on the defensive side of the ball and there were much fewer wide open shots.

Next: Coby White scores a new career-high

Whats Next

Up next for North Carolina is the first of the two annual Tobacco Road showdowns against arch rival Duke.