Following a tough 33-point loss to Florida State, the Tar Heels are once again looking more like the team everyone thought they were supposed to be.
Despite some sloppy possessions in the final minutes of play, UNC overcame a 39-34 deficit at the end of the first half to get their first win on the road during ACC play. Putting the first half behind them, the Tar Heels outscored the Hokies 48-29 in the second half to win 82-68.
Harrison Barnes came out of the locker room on fire, finishing the game with 27 points. John Henson finished strong with a double-double, chalking up 16 points and rebounds.
The UNC defense managed to shut down Dorenzo Hudson as well, who failed to connect on either of his two shots from behind the arc in the second half, and they forced the Hokies to go nearly nine minutes without a field goal.
From ESPN’s Robbi Pickeral:
A key, effort-filled bounce-back victory after its 33-point blowout defeat at FSU last Saturday – but a possible loss to its starting lineup.
Early in the second half, junior shooting guard Dexter Strickland – the best perimeter defender on the team – had his right knee buckle as he was driving to the basket. He lay on the baseline in obvious pain until he was helped to the bench. He stayed there with his knee iced, then wrapped, for rest of the game, and there was no immediate update on his status.
From The News & Observer:
The victory not only helped UNC move on past the debacle against the Seminoles, but it also represented the Tar Heels’ finest performance away from the Smith Center this season. UNC had lost its past three away from home – against UNLV in Las Vegas on Nov. 26, at Kentucky on Dec. 3 and at FSU.