UNC Basketball picks up gritty victory on the road at Clemson

The UNC basketball program picked up its second consecutive victory on the road in ACC play as they knocked off No. 16-ranked Clemson.

Dec 16, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5) passes the
Dec 16, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5) passes the / Jordan Godfree-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't your typical type of victory for the UNC basketball program, but it was one that showcased a lot of grit from the boys in Carolina blue.

441. UNC Clemson. 55. 432. Final. 65

North Carolina went into Clemson and handed the No. 16-ranked team in the nation a loss on their home court, as the Tar Heels improved to 3-0 in ACC play for the first time since the 2015-2016 season.

The storyline of this game was the defensive effort from the Tar Heels, who made life difficult for PJ Hall and the Tigers throughout.

Hall, who is considered one of the best big men in the ACC, couldn't find any type of rhythm, as Armando Bacot asserted his dominance in their head-to-head battle. Bacot finished with his 75th career double-double (14 points, 16 rebounds), while Hall connected on just four of 10 shot attempts and was held to just five rebounds before fouling out late in the second half.

Clemson cut the UNC basketball program's lead to just two with a little over five minutes to play, but the Tar Heels took over from that point on. The Tigers were unable to score the rest of the way, as North Carolina pulled away with another much-needed conference victory.

Give credit to the Tar Heels defense: Clemson came in as one of the better three-point shooting teams in the country, but connected on just one of 18 attempts in this game. Overall, the Tigers shot just 36.2 percent from the floor, and was held to making 32.3% of their second half attempts in the process.

Along with Bacot, RJ Davis also had 14 points in the win. It wasn't the typical outing we've seen from Davis of late, but the senior guard was still able to knock in some timely baskets. Cormac Ryan had 10 early points before hurting his ankle, as he returned to the game but did not make an impact offensively afterwards.

A total of 10 different Tar Heels scored in this one, as they were able to battle as a unit for this win. After heading into the half tied up at 34 a piece, North Carolina came out of the locker room with that mindset that they weren't going to let Clemson bully them, as was evident by their hustle and rebounding effort over the final 20 minutes of play.

The UNC basketball program has one more road game before playing at the Dean Smith Center next weekend, as they prepare for a Wednesday night battle with rival NC State in Raleigh.

Next. RJ Davis passes Hubert Davis on all-time three-pointers list. RJ Davis passes Hubert Davis on all-time three-pointers list. dark

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