UNC Basketball uses second half surge to defeat NC State

The UNC basketball program locked in during the second half of play en route to a victory over in-state rival NC State on Saturday afternoon.
Feb 26, 2024; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Harrison Ingram
Feb 26, 2024; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Harrison Ingram / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

In a battle between in-state rivals, the UNC basketball program reminded NC State of who really owns the state of North Carolina.

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If games were determined by one half, NC State would've had the edge after 20 minutes of action. The Wolfpack couldn't miss from the floor, as they shot over 50% from the floor, including knocking down seven of 11 three-point field goal attempts.

However, after scoring an early second half basket, the Wolfpack's offense went COLD.

NC State failed to score a field goal for over 10 minutes, as the Tar Heels were not only able to erase a 10-point deficit but also retake the lead. It also helped that the Wolfpack dealt with plenty of foul trouble, as Casey Morsell fouled out with over seven minutes remaining while DJ Burns was limited due to four fouls of his own.

The Tar Heels offense was led by four double-digit scorers, most notably Harrison Ingram, who finished with a season-high 22 points on 8-14 shooting. After hauling in 19 rebounds when the Tar Heels visited their in-state rival, Ingram beat them by scoring, as his offensive efficiency was a huge factor in the win.

Speaking of huge, how about the performance from Elliot Cadeau! The freshman guard made five of his seven shots as he finished the game with 15 points and seven assists.

Although they weren't as efficient as they normally are, both RJ Davis (14 points) and Armando Bacot (13) helped carry the scoring load.

Yes, North Carolina made life difficult for NC State over the final 20 minutes of action, but the second half was very indicative of how the Wolfpack's season has gone. At times, they look like a team that is a force to be reckoned with, while other times, a whole different team shows up.

Fortunately for the Tar Heels, the Wolfpack wasn't able to continue their red-hot shooting from the first half of play.

Now, the Tar Heels turn their attention to the final week of the regular season, as they'll host Notre Dame on Tuesday night in the final game at the Dean Dome in 2023-2024. The program will hold its annual 'Senior Night' prior to the start of the game.

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