UNC Basketball: Death, taxes, and Tar Heels beat the Wolfpack

The UNC basketball team ends its seven-game losing streak with an 85-79 victory over the NC State Wolfpack in Chapel Hill.

Garrison Brooks scored a game-high 30 points, and pulled down nine rebounds, as North Carolina beat NC State by a final score of 85-79 on Tuesday night at the Dean Smith Center.

Brooks hit 8-of-15 shots from the floor, and 14-of-16 from the free throw line. Cole Anthony added 19 points on a 7-for-15 shooting performance, while adding five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Senior reserve Christian Keeling scored a season-high 16 points off the UNC bench on a terrific 7-for-9 mark from the floor, and 2-for-4 from beyond the arc.

The Tar Heels shot just under 50 percent for the game, despite converting just three of their 16 attempts from long-range. They also missed nine of their 31 free throw attempts, and turned the ball over 15 times. They did outrebound NC State by eight, though, and committed 11 fewer fouls on the game.

The victory improves the Tar Heels to 11-17 overall, and 4-13 in ACC play, and helps them avoid the longest losing streak in program history. They’ve won 32 of the last 36 games against the Wolfpack, and Roy Williams is now 37-4 all-time against NC State.

NC State was led by senior guard Markell Johnson, who scored a team-high 21 points to go along with a game-high 10 rebounds. DJ Funderburk added 18 points and nine rebounds, while C.J. Bryce scored 13.

The Wolfpack shot almost as well as the Tar Heels did for the game, while completing a far better percentage of their three-pointers and foul shots. They committed 14 turnovers and 25 fouls, though, and allowed far too many second-chance points to come out on top. The loss drops NC State to 17-11 on the season, and 8-9 in conference play. And barring a miracle run through the ACC Tournament, the loss probably knocks the Wolfpack out of contention for a spot in the NCAA Tournament’s field of 68.

The Tar Heels will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Syracuse to take on the Orange at the Carrier Dome.

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