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North Carolina

Tar Heels drop exhibition game in Bahamas

Posted August 15

Kennedy Meeks (3) takes a shot during action at the Dean E. Smith Center between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils on February 20, 2014 in Chapel Hill, NC. (Will Bratton/WRAL contributor)

Ernest Saunders dropped in a three-pointer from the right wing with 18.1 seconds to play to cap a 14-5 run and give the Providence (Bahamas) Storm an 84-83 men’s basketball exhibition game victory over the University of North Carolina Friday in Nassau.

The Tar Heels led 78-70 after a Justin Jackson basket with three minutes to go, but the Storm scored seven straight points, the final three on a long-range jumper by Deandre Auton, who had 17 points and a game-high 18 rebounds.

Jackson and Desmond Hubert scored baskets for UNC for an 82-79 lead, the latter on a dunk after a no-look, one-touch pass from Marcus Paige. Eugene Bain’s baseline jumper pulled Providence within a point, then Kennedy Meeks increased Carolina’s advantage to 83-81 after making one of two from the line.

After Carolina made a defensive stop, freshman Theo Pinson missed a pair of free throws with 32 seconds to play. Saunders connected on his three on the ensuing possession to give the Storm its first lead since 51-49 in the third quarter.

The Tar Heels had three shots on their final possession, including a final try from the right corner by Jackson but failed to score.

Providence forward Keno Burrows led all scorers with 18 and was joined in double figures on the Storm by Auton (17), Eugene Bain (14), Saunders (13) and Shakwon Lewis (10).

Sophomore forward Isaiah Hicks led the Tar Heels with 11. Meeks and Jackson scored 10 apiece, Paige and J.P. Tokoto each had nine, and Hubert, Pinson and Joel Berry II scored eight.

“They were more aggressive than we were and they made plays down the stretch,” says Carolina head coach Roy Williams. “We missed a number of free throws in the fourth quarter and then we failed to pick up an open shooter on that three-pointer that gave them the lead. We made lots of mistakes, went 3 for 25 from three and missed free throws. Hopefully we will learn from this and play better tomorrow.”

Unofficially, Carolina shot 45 percent from the field on 36 of 80 shooting, 12 percent from three-point range and 40 percent (8 of 20) from the free throw line.

Junior forward Brice Johnson played just seven minutes after spraining his right ankle in the second quarter. Paige also went out of the game in the third quarter after spraining his ankle and missed several minutes but was able to return. Paige, a preseason candidate for National Player of the Year honors, was 3 for 15 from the floor and 2 for 9 from three-point range. He was held to one free throw in the second half.

Tokoto led the Tar Heels in rebounding with nine and assists with seven.

Carolina led 20-18 after one quarter (the game was played in four 10-minute quarters), 41-40 at the half and 63-59 after three quarters.

UNC had its biggest lead of the game at 41-31 with three minutes to play in the opening half, but the Storm finished the half on a 9-0 run to go into intermission just one point behind.

Providence began the third quarter on a 10-4 run to take its largest lead of the game at 50-45, but Carolina came back quickly to move ahead, 54-51, on a drive and three-point play by Berry. Pinson scored six points in the third quarter to spark Carolina, and had a fourth field goal wiped out on a disputed offensive foul.

The Tar Heels play the Bahamas All-Stars on Saturday at 5 p.m. in their second and final game in the Summer of Thunder Tournament.

Scoring Totals
North Carolina (83): Isaiah Hicks (11), Justin Jackson (10), Kennedy Meeks (10), Marcus Paige (9), J.P. Tokoto (9), Joel Berry II (8), Desmond Hubert (8), Theo Pinson (8), Brice Johnson (6), Nate Britt (2), Joel James (2)

Providence Storm (84): Keno Burrows (18), Deandre Auton (17), Eugene Bain (14), Ernest Saunders (13), Shakwon Lewis (10), Jeffrey Henfield (8), Jackson Jacob (2), Dionte Smith (2)

20 Comments

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  • CarolinaBlue Aug 21, 3:22 p.m.

    This Providence team was a much different team than the one that lost to OSU by so much. 3/4 top scorers did not even play in that game.

  • CarolinaBlue Aug 21, 3:22 p.m.

    This Providence team was a much different team than the one that lost to OSU by so much. 3/4 top scorers did not even play in that game.

  • fbguru Aug 19, 10:32 a.m.

    Ooops! I thought most "Top 20" teams were beating this team by double-figures???

  • Return of The Flagship Aug 16, 6:03 p.m.

    Yes it is embarrassing.

    Only if you're not accustomed to following sport....as is the case with soooo many ABC'Rs.

    The fact that you people read anything into an August (!!) exhibition game is simply indicative of the amount of hurt The Flagship has imposed upon you over the decades.

    Fun to watch.

  • unbiasedaccfan Aug 16, 4:15 p.m.

    Yes it is embarrassing. But what has come out of chapel hole lately that hasn't been? Huck? Marvin? Rashad?

  • Return of The Flagship Aug 16, 3:18 p.m.

    at least they have their UNC degrees to fall back on.....

    — Posted by dave437

    Something you'll never be able to say.

    — Posted by Return of The Flagship

    In case you didn't know that was NOT a compliment lol. Oh and BTW, LOL!

    — Posted by kbkline

    Why Thank you, Captain obvious.

    Mine wasn't either, btw.

    #FACTSLAPPED

  • 903 Free Jackson Boyer Aug 16, 3:18 p.m.

    at least they have their UNC degrees to fall back on.....

    — Posted by dave437

    Something you'll never be able to say.

    — Posted by Return of The Flagship

    In case you didn't know that was NOT a compliment lol. Oh and BTW, LOL!

    — Posted by kbkline

    The unc degree had value...up until the day we all found out rashad mccants made the dean's list...(and without cheating if you believe all these unc fans and alumni that still maintain that willingham and mccants are liars)...

  • kbkline Aug 16, 2:32 p.m.

    at least they have their UNC degrees to fall back on.....

    — Posted by dave437

    Something you'll never be able to say.

    — Posted by Return of The Flagship

    In case you didn't know that was NOT a compliment lol. Oh and BTW, LOL!

  • heelsforever Aug 16, 2:04 p.m.

    Paint it any way you want to / need to Tar Heel fans, but this is embarrassing and should NEVER happen to a team that is supposed to be even decent. The team we see in November may actually be really good, but yesterday they couldn't beat a bunch of no names from the Bahamas. Yes, I know the one kid is a top talent FOR 2017, he shouldn't be able to do whatever he wants against guys 3-7 years older than him. Three point and FT woes appear to not be corrected. These guys taking all those threes have to be more aware of the fact that their big guys are actually hitting shots and try to pound it inside rather than launching three after three after three....that are not going in.

  • Objective Scientist Aug 16, 1:34 p.m.

    This game - for me - is of absolutely NO consequence or significance. This game - played in a prime vacation/tourism area/aka "tropical islands" - is more for future recruiting purposes than anything else. It will never hurt to be able to say to a recruit that "In 2014 we played in the Bahamas... and if you become a "Tar Heel" it is very likely that you will have a similar "trip". A similar such thing could be said for playing in places such as Madison Square Garden. Did the Carolina basketball team NEED to go to the Bahamas to play this type of game? Absolutely NOT! The outcome of the game and both team and individual stats are of no real importance. Again... it is a recruiting ploy and many schools do it! Not just Carolina! That said... was the expense of the trip justifiable... I think not!

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