North Carolina

Game Blog: UNC survives Notre Dame push, 63-61

Posted March 3, 2014

James Michael McAdoo (43) dunks during action at the Dean E. Smith Center between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on February 22, 2014 in Chapel Hill, NC. (Will Bratton/WRAL contributor)

After cruising to a 14-point lead over Notre Dame in the first half, the Fighting Irish battled to grab a lead over the Heels in the second. With just over one minute to go in the game UNC pushed ahead forcing key turnovers and hitting free throws. The Tar Heels defeated Notre Dame 63-61.

1:30 second half; UNC 61, Notre Dame 56: James Michael McAdoo hit a free throw and followed it up with a basket on the next possession to put the Heels back in the lead at 57-56. Notre Dame turned it over and Brice Johnson took advantage hitting a two. J.P. Tokoto hit a three to put the Heels up five.

5:00 second half; UNC 52, Notre Dame 52: Both teams combined for 3:40 of scoreless basketball until Steve Vasturia hit a free throw, on the Heels next possession Marcus Paige hit a jumper to keep the game close.

9:42 second half; UNC 50, Notre Dame 49: The Heels regain the lead after forcing a Notre Dame turnover and following it with a James Michael McAdoo jumper.

13:07 second half; Notre Dame 49, UNC 46: An Eric Atkins three-pointer tied the game at 44-44, a three by Steve Vasturia gave Notre Dame the 47-46 lead. 

15:43 second half; UNC 44, Notre Dame 39: Notre Dame comes out of the break and scores the first points of the second half on a Pat Connaughton basket. The basket sparks a 10-1 Notre Dame run, with all of the Fighting Irish's points coming from Connaughton. Brice Johnson hits the Heels first field goal of the game with 16:31 on the clock.

Halftime; UNC 41, Notre Dame 27: At the half North Carolina leads Notre Dame by 14 points, one point shy of their largest lead of the game. J.P. Tokoto leads the Heels with nine points and five rebounds, he has yet to miss a shot tonight.

3:01 first half; UNC 35, Notre Dame 22: Leslie McDonald hits his first three of the game for the 28-16 lead. Notre Dame's Eric Atkins answers back with a three of his own, but Marcus Paige quickly hits another on the other end. A layup by J.P. Tokoto and a jumper by McDonald back-to-back give the Heels a 13 point lead and force Notre Dame to call another timeout.

7:48 first half; UNC 23, Notre Dame 13: Heels come back after the timeout with a great defensive stand to keep Notre Dame from scoring but can't convert on their end. Joel James hits a basket off an offensive rebound and is fouled for the three-point play. North Carolina takes an eight point lead with 8:45 to go in the first half. James tips another in for the ten point lead and forces Notre Dame to call a timeout.

11:10 first half; UNC 18, Notre Dame 13: A three by J.P. Tokoto put the Heels up by five points with 13:46 to go in the game, A few minutes later Tokoto found Brice Johnson for an alley-oop to keep their lead at five.

15:39 first half; UNC 11, Notre Dame 4: In true Senior Night fashion, Wade Moody opened up the game with a three for the Tar Heels. The senior walk-ons helped North Carolina to a 7-4 lead before they were subbed out for the usual UNC starters. James Michael McAdoo is leading all scorers with six points at the first media timeout.

Starters for North Carolina forward James Manor, Leslie McDonald, forward Denzel Robinson, James Michael McAdoo and guard Wade Moody.

Monday marks Notre Dame's last game of the season, for the Tar Heels it's their second to last game but the last they will play at home. Tonight ahead of the game they honored the senior players and managers, most notably Leslie McDonald who has been with the program for five years.


Pregame: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish put the wraps on the 2013-14 regular season when they take on the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Smith Center on Monday night.

Notre Dame's first season as a member of the ACC hasn't gone quite according to plan, as Mike Brey's club comes into this finale sporting a 15-15 overall record, which includes a 6-11 league ledger. The Fighting Irish dropped an 85-81 overtime decision at home to Pittsburgh on Saturday, marking the team's third loss in the last four games. Brey's next win will be the 400th of his career.

North Carolina is playing its final home game of the campaign tonight, and it close out the regular season this Saturday at bitter rival Duke. The Tar Heels, who are tied with the Blue Devils with a conference mark of 12-4 heading into the week, have built up a serious head of steam in recent weeks, as Roy Williams' squad has reeled off 11 straight wins, the most recent of which occurring this past Saturday in a 60-56 decision at Virginia Tech.

North Carolina claimed a 73-62 win at Notre Dame on Feb. 8 in the first meeting between these new conference rivals this season, extending its lead in the all-time series to 17-4 in the process.

Putting points on the board hasn't really been an issue for Notre Dame this season, as the team ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring (72.4 ppg), while checking in fifth in both field goal percentage (.457) and 3-point field goal percentage (.361). They are the second-best squad in terms of assist-to- turnover ratio (1.5), and they are third in assists (15.4 apg). Unfortunately, the Irish have faltered on defense quite often, as they surrender 70.5 ppg to rank 13th in the 15-team league. Their average yield on field goal allowance (.446) ranks 14th, and their effort defending the 3-pointer (.383) has them dead last.

At present, there are three double-digit scorers on the roster for Notre Dame, as Eric Atkins (13.7 ppg, 4.8 apg), Garrick Sherman (13.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Pat Connaughton (13.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.0 apg) do their best to help the Irish compete on a nightly basis. Connaughton hit for 19 points, Atkins had 17 to go with nine assists, and Steve Vasturia 15 for UND in its recent overtime loss to Pittsburgh. The trio combined for eight of the team's 12 3-pointers, and the Irish shot 54.8 percent from the field for the game, while going 23-of-27 at the free-throw line. Unfortunately, the Panthers hit a few more field goals, went 24-of-28 at the charity stripe, easily won the rebounding battle (38-22), and took advantage of 16 UND turnovers (17 points).

North Carolina's 11-game win streak is its longest since 2008 when it won 13 straight, and it's been more than a decade (2001-01) since the Tar Heels won at least that many in a row against ACC foes. UNC boasts four double-digit scorers in Marcus Paige (17.2 ppg), James M. McAdoo (14.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg), Leslie McDonald (11.0 ppg) and Brice Johnson (10.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg). Paige, who also serves as the team's primary playmaker (130 assists) as well as its top 3-point shooter (71-of-179, .397), currently ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring. North Carolina is the second-highest scoring team in the league (76.7 ppg), but it ranks in the bottom half with regard to scoring defense (68.1 ppg, 10th). Despite their solid offensive numbers, the Heels are last in the league in free throw percentage (.626).

North Carolina put forth a lackluster offensive effort in its recent win at Virginia Tech, as the team shot just 41.8 percent from the field, missing 12 of its 17 3-point tries along the way, as well as half of its free throws (9- of-18). The Tar Heels did play solid defense though, holding the Hokies to 35.6 percent field goal efficiency, which included a 7-of-24 showing from beyond the arc. McAdoo paced the unit with 15 points, while McDonald added 14 and J.P. Tokoto a dozen for the winning side.

UNC has clinched a top-four seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament, but you just know the Heels want to keep the good times rolling as they stare down Duke this weekend, and head into the postseason with their winning streak in tact. The Irish are sure to put up a fight, but they're likely to come up well short of the upset.

22 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • 903 Hail Providence Mar 3, 9:13 p.m.

    Still bugs me that in a game like this Roy had 4 TO's left at the end of this game. Waiting for... View More

    — Posted by heelsforever

    In this case, ND was the team with the shorter bench. I can see why Roy felt that not giving ND a chance to get some rest was a good strategy. But that zone was not working at all. All that did was give ND many high percentage shots without having to expend any energy. Pretty much just spread the perimeter and wait for Atkins to either drive and create or drive and kick.

  • heelsforever Mar 3, 9:09 p.m.

    Still bugs me that in a game like this Roy had 4 TO's left at the end of this game. Waiting for a media TO does not have the same impact as a called TO during a run by the other team. IMO he should have called one when the lead was cut to 5.

  • Doc Holliday Mar 3, 9:09 p.m.

    So far ND is a different team in the 2nd.

    — Posted by Dreamchaser

    As has been our non existent defense

    — Posted by RDI

    Nice D at the end when it mattered. Congrats, Ram Tuuf.

    — Posted by Doc Holliday

    Thanks BB, wasnt pretty but you gotta win ugly ones too, Bring on the Devils !!!!

    — Posted by RDI

    +1

  • hawkdaddy138 Mar 3, 9:07 p.m.

    Does somebody need to remind Roy what timeouts are for? Game didn't need to be that close if Roy had used his **FOUR** remaining TO's to stop ND's 17 pt run when the 2nd half started.

  • RDI Mar 3, 9:06 p.m.

    So far ND is a different team in the 2nd.

    — Posted by Dreamchaser

    As has been our non existent defense

    — Posted by RDI

    Nice D at the end when it mattered. Congrats, Ram Tuuf.

    — Posted by Doc Holliday

    Thanks BB, wasnt pretty but you gotta win ugly ones too, Bring on the Devils !!!!

  • Doc Holliday Mar 3, 9:04 p.m.

    So far ND is a different team in the 2nd.

    — Posted by Dreamchaser

    As has been our non existent defense

    — Posted by RDI

    Nice D at the end when it mattered. Congrats, Ram Tuuf.

  • Doc Holliday Mar 3, 9:02 p.m.

    What a block by Paige at the end.

    — Posted by Dreamchaser

    Yep.....thought he might try to kick it out. Congrats, Dream.

  • Doc Holliday Mar 3, 9:00 p.m.

    Heels did what they had to do. The 10 for 22 at the line hurt 'em a little. Surprised to see ND hang with 'em given the year they've had. Nice 12 game win streak.

  • 45HEELSFAN45 Mar 3, 8:58 p.m.

    It was the RAYUFS, the RAYUFS screwed ND

  • The Heels Win Again Mar 3, 8:57 p.m.

    Whew!!! That's two games in a row, that were closer, than they needed to be.

    GO HEELS!!!

More...

 

 

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big 10: Michigan at Michigan State

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
Final
ORL 100
MIL 115
Final
IND 103
NYK 82
Final
MEM 99
DEN 69
Final
LAL 123
CHI 118
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
SAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
LAC
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
CHI
 
Final
PROV 83
DEP 72
Final
RUTG 51
MSU 71
Final
ARMY 71
BU 67
 
Final
RFLSH 75
BRY 68
 
Final
MERC 75
CHAT 72
 
Final
LIU 67
CCST 55
 
Final
TOWS 74
COC 70
 
Final
UMASS 66
DAY 64
Final
FUR 59
ETST 55
 
Final
ODU 71
FIU 56
Final
RMU 87
FD 65
 
Final
CHAR 86
FATL 61
Final
LIB 53
HIGH 72
 
Final
UNF 86
KNST 67
 
Final
FLGC 78
LIP 62
 
Final
OSU 80
MD 56
Final
Terriers 73
MNTER 67
 
Final
STET 85
NKENTUCKY 75
 
Final
WAGN 75
SHU 64
 
Final
GMAS 68
STLU 60
Final
JVU 65
USCU 78
 
Final
VMI 70
WCU 85
 
Final
LATU 69
WKENT 56
Final
UNCG 42
WOFF 58
 
Final
DET 93
YOUNG 87
 
Final
GSOUT 83
APP 46
 
Final
TENNM 81
EILL 51
 
Final
GHND 64
HC 54
 
Final
CIN 70
UCONN 58
Final
NDST 61
DEN 54
 
Final
SD 55
MAST 66
 
Final
UWMIL 71
ILLCH 65
 
Final
BEL 103
JVST 82
 
Final
SMISS 54
MARS 69
Final
TXSA 69
MTST 58
Final
PETE 49
RIDE 58
 
Final
SEMIZ 61
SIUE 75
 
Final
TENST 64
TENT 56
 
Final
NDAK 60
WEBER 67
 
Final
SALA 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
ARKST 65
ARKLR 75
 
Final
TROY 55
LAMON 58
 
Final
TXARL 74
UGST 88
 
Final
MURST 85
EKENT 78
 
Final
NCOL 79
IDST 76
 
Final
MIZZ 53
KENT 69
Final
GONZ 64
PORT 46
Final
UTEP 71
UAB 69
Final
GRCN 78
UMKC 57
 
Final
WLVRN 78
CHIST 62
 
Final
USC 94
COL 98
Final
UCI 67
CPSL 57
 
Final
CSNO 73
HAW 84
 
Final
PAC 43
PEPP 50
 
Final
SDU 69
SCU 64
 
Final
UCD 70
UCSB 64
 
Final
UCLA 69
UTAH 59
Final
PORST 54
MONT 73
 
Final
SACST 75
MNTST 59
 
Final
CSFU 85
LBSU 91
 
Final
GAELS 68
LMU 54
 
Final
WASU 67
CAL 76
Final
BYU 78
USF 74
 
6:00pm Tonight
PRIN
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
BRO
 
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
DART
 
7:00pm Tonight
NIAG
MAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
QUIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAN
SIENA
 
8:00pm Tonight
WILL
IUPUI
 
8:00pm Tonight
FAIR
MON
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARST
OREG
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLMB
YALE
 
10:00pm Tonight
BUF
KSU
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
ORST
 
Final
NYI 2
BOS 5
Final
NYR 0
MON 1
Final
PHI 5
WIN 2
Final
TOR 1
ARI 3
Final
FLA 3
CLB 2
Final
TAM 5
DET 1
Final
STL 5
NAS 4
Final
CAL 0
MIN 1
Final
EDM 3
BUF 2
Final
SJS 6
ANA 3
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
PIT
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
NAS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI