UNC Basketball Squeezes Orange En Route To Sixth Straight Victory

The UNC Basketball team put together a complete and dominating performance on Saturday afternoon against Syracuse to move to 5-0 in conference play.

North Carolina v NC State
North Carolina v NC State / Lance King/GettyImages
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It was a perfect Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill. The UNC Basketball team put together one of its most complete performances of the 2023-2024 season against the Syracuse Orange. The Tar Heels dominated every aspect of the game versus the Orange on Saturday en route to a 103-67 victory to pick up their sixth consecutive victory and move to 5-0 in ACC Play.

67. 445. UNC BB vs Syracuse Final. 103. 441. Final

Syracuse took a 3-2 lead with 18:10 remaining in the first half and held that lead for a full minute before Armando Bacot gave North Carolina a 4-3 lead. The Tar Heels would never trail again and just continued to stretch the lead out over the course of the game.

North Carolina led by as many as 27 in the first half, leading the Orange 45-18 with 5:22 remaining in the first half. Syracuse did cut into the margin, getting the deficit down to 21 at 49-28 with a minute remaining in the half, and North Carolina would close out the half leading 52-30.

It appeared at halftime that Syracuse just was uninterested in playing the rest of the game. However, the Orange came out of halftime and gave the Tar Heels their best shot to cut into the deficit and get back into the game. The Orange began the half on a 9-2 run, cutting the 22-point deficit down to 15 at 54-39 in just two minutes.

However, North Carolina went on an 8-0 over 55 seconds to push the lead back out to 62-39 with 17:11 remaining. After that, it was pretty much all but over. The Tar Heels put on a basketball clinic the entire afternoon, leading by as many as 39 during several points of the second half. It was such a domination that RJ Davis and Armando Bacot checked out of the game with more than 10 minutes remaining.

Five different players scored in double figures for the UNC Basketball team against the Orange, with RJ Davis leading all scorers with 22 points on 7-12 from the field and a 4-6 from three-point range shooting performance. Bacot added a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Harrison Ingram also contributed a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Key contributors off the bench included Jalen Washington with 11 points, Jae'lyn Withers with 10 points, and Seth Trimble with 9 points. Washington and Withers also contributed six rebounds each in the victory.

As a team, the Tar Heels made 50.7% of their field goal attempts and held the Orange to 39.7% shooting and just 25% from beyond the arc. As has been a point of emphasis over the previous three months, the Tar Heels were dominant once again in the defense and rebounding department. North Carolina out-rebounded the Orange 53-30 and 19-7 on the offensive glass.

The Tar Heels scored 58 points in the paint, just 9 points less than Syracuse scored in the entire game, while also out-scoring the Orange in transition 20-9 in fast-break points. All of this led to the most points ever scored against Syracuse in UNC Basketball program history and the largest margin of victory over the Orange.

There were plenty of crisp passes in traditional UNC Basketball fashion, but this play from Elliot Cadeau, RJ Davis, and Armando Bacot pretty much sums up the type of afternoon it was for the Tar Heels and was some of the best ball movement you'll ever see.

The UNC Basketball team is now 13-3 on the season and advances to 5-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. The Tar Heels will stay home as they prepare to welcome the Louisville Cardinals to the Dean E. Smith Center on Wednesday, January 17th, with tip-off scheduled for 9:00 PM.

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