Game Blog: UNC takes 80-61 win over Clemson
Posted January 26
North Carolina takes emphatic 80-61 win over Clemson to maintain their unbeaten record at home versus the Tigers. UNC is now 57-0 all time against Clemson in Chapel Hill.
3:07 second half; UNC 74, Clemson 48: Mass exodus at the Smith Center as the game looks to be wrapped up. North Carolina played with energy the entire time, something the team has been lacking.
7:34 second half; UNC 66, Clemson 39: The quick pace has favored the Tar Heels as they continue to push to the basket. Clemson made a push in the last minutes of play but has a long way to climb to get back into the game.
10:45 second half; UNC 59, Clemson 29: A Leslie McDonald three puts the Heels ahead of Clemson by 30.
11:44 second half; UNC 56, Clemson 28: The Tigers hit their first field goal since the 6:28 mark in the first half with a three-pointer from Rod Hall. But unfortunately for the Tigers the Heels can't seem to miss hitting 56.1% of their shots so far.
16:19 second half; UNC 46, Clemson 23: North Carolina and Clemson traded baskets to start the second half. Marcus Paige drained a three-pointer to extend the Tar Heels lead to 19. Back-to-back slams by James Michael McAdoo and the Tar Heels have doubled up Clemson.
Halftime; UNC 37, Clemson 21: Clemson scored one field goal in the last 11:58 minutes of the first half. North Carolina turned up their defensive effort and continued to score to put them ahead of Clemson 37-21 at the half.
3:08 first half; UNC 31, Clemson 16: The Tigers haven't managed to score in the last two minutes, much to the credit of North Carolina. The UNC team is showing a lot of emotion, fighting for loose balls, rebounds and moving the ball around to find the best shot.
5:38 first half; UNC 27, Clemson 16: Leslie McDonald sinks the first three-pointer of the game to give North Carolina a ten point lead. The Heels grab a defensive rebound and throw a long ball to McDonald for another easy lay-up forcing the Tigers to call a timeout.
7:20 first half; UNC 21, Clemson 14: North Carolina has extended their lead over Clemson 21-14 in the past few minutes of play. A few trips to the line and a good defensive stand has kept the Heels in front. The Tar Heels are shooting 50% to Clemson's 29.
11:36 first half; UNC 14, Clemson 11: Clemson has eight second chance points and are controlling the boards 10-6 so far.
14:08 first half; UNC 12, Clemson 9: J.P. Tokoto scores the first points of the game off the opening tip. Kennedy Meeks, enjoying his third ever start for North Carolina, sinks a floater from inside and the Heels take a 4-0 lead. Back-to-back calls against North Carolina and Clemson goes to the line for two, the first is missed and the second falls to bring the score to 4-3 early. North Carolina continues to push the pace as all five starters grab points in the first five minutes of play. Clemson is staying just behind the Heels battling inside for shots.
The officials for North Carolina, Clemson are Karl Hess, Jamie Luckie and Tim Nestor. Starting for the Tar Heels is Marcus Paige, Leslie McDonald, J.P. Tokoto, James Michael McAdoo and Kennedy Meeks. UNC's Desmond Hubert warmed up with the team and looks to be playing after missing three games due to a concussion.
Pregame: The North Carolina Tar Heels have last four of their last five games, and will look to turn things around as they host the Clemson Tigers in Atlantic Coast Conference action at the Dean Smith Center.
Clemson had a three-game winning streak going before it was halted by Pittsburgh, 76-43, in the Tigers' last outing. Clemson has managed a 4-2 record in the ACC this season.
North Carolina's three-game losing streak and four defeats in the last five games comes at the beginning portion of the Tar Heels' conference schedule. North Carolina has limped to a 1-4 start in the ACC, with a 76-61 loss to Virginia in the team's most recent contest.
Still, North Carolina has an unbelievably comfortable grasp of the all-time series lead with Clemson, 127-20. The Tar Heels have beaten the Tigers 15 times in the last 16 meetings.
Once Clemson scored the first basket of the Tigers' matchup with Pittsburgh, the Panthers went on an 11-0 run and led for the remainder of the contest. The 33-point defeat for the Tigers was the worst since a loss to Virginia last season. K.J. McDaniels was the only Clemson player to net double figures in the game, scoring 11 points on 4-od-11 shooting, including 1-of-4 from 3-point range. The Tigers connected on just 32 percent of their shots from the floor in the contest, including 21.1 percent from distance.
For a Clemson team with a 4-2 record in the ACC, the Tigers haven't had much scoring help on the season other than what McDaniels is able to provide. He leads the team in scoring with a 16.4 ppg average on 47.4 percent shooting. He's the only Clemson player to average scoring totals in the double digits. McDaniels also tops the team with a 7 rpg average. Rod Hall is just under the 10-point mark, checking in at 9.8 ppg with a team-best 66 assists on the season.
Virginia took a nine-point lead into the locker room over North Carolina in the Tar Heels' most recent game, then built a 15-point lead early in the second half. The Cavaliers never allowed the Tar Heels to get the lead back into single digits in the contest, as they cruised to victory. Kennedy Meeks led all North Carolina players with 15 points in the game and nine rebounds. James Michael McAdoo chipped in 11 and Leslie McDonald scored 10. The Tar Heels shot 41.3 percent from the floor in the loss.
Marcus Paige has come on strong for North Carolina, as the guard leads the team in scoring with 16.8 ppg on 41.7 percent shooting. Paige also tops the squad with 78 assists on the year. McAdoo is second on the team with 14.4 ppg and a team-best 29 steals. Brice Johnson (10.2 ppg) leads the team in rebounding at 6.5 rpg. Through 18 games played, the Tar Heels are averaging 75.2 ppg.
For Clemson to only net 43 points in its last game against Pittsburgh is a bit concerning. North Carolina is still a strong team on its home court, and regardless of whether the Tigers have offensive woes, the Tar Heels will be itching to get back into ACC contention.