Blog: UNC falls to Texas 86-83
Posted December 18, 2013
Chapel Hill, N.C. — North Carolina had a shot to tie it with 3 seconds left but missed as they fell 86-83 to Texas.
3:35 second half; Texas 72, UNC 72: A Nate Britt steal, James Michael McAdoo put-back and a made foul shot by Britt gave the Heels the 72 tie.
5:33 second half; Texas 72, UNC 68: Leslie McDonald hits another three to bring the Heels within four. Texas has a 72-68 lead with just over five minutes to play.
7:21 second half; Texas 70, UNC 63: The Heels are continuing to let the Longhorns inside for the rebounds as they struggle to cut the lead to less than six points. Just before the timeout Leslie McDonald hit his third three of the game to bring Carolina within 70-63.
11:49 second half; Texas 61, UNC 53: Three Longhorn players are in double digits as UNC's Marcus Paige is the lone Tar Heel with 15 points.
15:20 second half; Texas 58, UNC 50: The Texas team fouled five times in the first two minutes of play but the Heels can't score from the free throw line hitting only 15-26. The Longhorns are staying ahead of Carolina 58-50.
Halftime; Texas 53, UNC 42: After North Carolina battled to a 20-19 lead midway through the first half, Texas has taken over for an 11-point halftime lead. Texas has 29 rebounds to UNC's 15. Out of those 29, 14 are offensive rebounds. The Longhorns have easily gotten to the basket in the first half and continue to pound the glass.
3:27 first half; Texas 46, UNC 38: Texas is steadily staying in front of North Carolina after taking a 10 point lead.
7:42 first half; Texas 37, UNC 27: Texas is taking it to the Heels inside, easily finding the glass. The Longhorns have 10 offensive rebounds in just over ten minutes of play.
11:36 first half; Texas 21, UNC 21: Back-to-back three pointers by Marcus Paige and UNC cut the Texas lead to 19-17 with 13:30 to play. A Leslie McDonald three gave the Heels the 20-19 lead. At the under-12 media timeout the game is tied 21 all.
15:53 first half; Texas 16, UNC 8: In less than thirty seconds of play North Carolina lost Joel James to a right leg injury. Texas took it to the Heels early in a fast paced first few minutes to bring the score at the first media timeout to 16-8 Longhorns. Leslie McDonald came in for the first time at the 16:04 mark.
Things changed when North Carolina guard Leslie McDonald was cleared to play by the NCAA mid-afternoon Wednesday. McDonald warmed up with the team and is on the court shooting around prior to tip. He is expected to play tonight as they work him back into the lineup.
Pregame: Coming off yet another marquee victory, the 14th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels continue a five-game homestand Wednesday evening when they welcome the Texas Longhorns to the Smith Center (7 p.m., ESPN2).
Roy Williams' Tar Heels have played at less than full strength this season, with a couple of key components missing from the lineup.
Losses to both Belmont and UAB would normally be reason for concern in Chapel Hill, but UNC has assuaged any concerns this season with huge wins over powerhouses Louisville, Michigan State and most recently, Kentucky (82-77).
Marcus Paige once again led the way for North Carolina, as the sophomore guard netted a game-high 23 points, 21 of which came in the second half, as the Tar Heels knocked off Kentucky last weekend in Chapel Hill.
James Michael McAdoo had a stellar game as well, posting 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. Fellow forward J.P. Tokoto added 15 points for UNC, which shot a strong 56.7 percent from the floor in the second half to earn the five-point win over the Wildcats.
Paige has really stood up and taken over as a team-leader, averaging a hefty 19.2 ppg, while also doling out a team-high 4.2 apg. The Tar Heels don't rely on the 3-pointer much with just 25 makes on the year from long distance, but 21 of those have come from Paige.
McAdoo (13.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg), Brice Johnson (13.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Tokoto (10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) give the team depth up front.
The team is still playing without stars P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald, but that hasn't stopped the Tar Heels from posting solid numbers at both ends of the floor, including 78.0 ppg.
Rick Barnes' Longhorns will present another stiff challenge, as Texas has quietly opened the season with nine wins in its first 10 games. The lone loss came against BYU (86-82), but the Longhorns have won five straight games since, including an 85-53 rout of Texas State last weekend.
Sophomore center Cameron Ridley is starting to establish himself as a formidable presence in the paint, as evidenced by his career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds last time out.
Three other Longhorns joined Ridley in double- figure scoring, with Isaiah Taylor (15 pts), Javan Felix (13 pts) and Jonathan Holmes (11 pts) all making sizable contributions. Texas held Texas State to a mere .297 shooting effort in the game and forced the Bobcats into 17 turnovers.
The Longhorns have performed well at both ends of the court this season. Texas is shooting at a modest 44.8 percent clip this season, but is averaging an impressive 77.8 ppg nonetheless. A +10.4 scoring margin comes from tough defensive play that limits foes to just 68.4 ppg an under 40 percent shooting from the floor.
In addition, the Longhorns boast of a +9.7 rebounding margin and are among the top rebounding teams in the nation at 43.8 caroms per contest. The scoring comes from a variety of sources, as Holmes headlines five players currently averaging double figures at 12.9 ppg. Taylor (11.7 ppg) is next in line and serves as the team's top distributor (3.8 apg). Demarcus Holland (11.0 ppg), Felix (10.8 ppg) and Ridley (10.3 ppg) provide plenty of support.
Not many teams can claim to have gotten the better of North Carolina in series play, but Texas actually holds a 5-3 series advantage thanks to last year's 85-67 romp in Austin. Texas has won four of the last five meetings.