College of Charleston stuns No. 9 North Carolina
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP)—Bobby Cremins isn’t even sure how his College of Charleston team managed this upset.
“Going on a 12-1 run with 4 minutes to go against North Carolina, usually that’s lights out,” Cremins said. “So I’ve got to watch the tape tonight to figure out what happened.”
North Carolina won’t want to be reminded how it happened.
The ninth-ranked Tar Heels (11-4) squandered an 11-point lead down the stretch and lost 82-79 in overtime to the Cougars on Monday night.
Charleston’s Andrew Goudelock scored the last eight points in regulation, including the tying 3-pointer from about 28 feet over 6-foot-10 Ed Davis with 2 seconds left.
Donavan Monroe opened the overtime with a 3-pointer to put the Cougars ahead for good as they defeated a Top 25 team for the first time since beating the then-third ranked Tar Heels 66-64 on Dec. 5, 1998.
North Carolina coach Roy Williams said the team was as low as it could be with the loss.
“It hurts,” said Davis, who led North Carolina with 19 points and 16 rebounds.
Along with his go-ahead 3-pointer, Monroe hit two free throws for the final margin.
Goudelock scored 24 points, none bigger than his fadeaway jumper that forced overtime.
“He was so far back, and it was contested,” Monroe marveled. “It was just the slowest shot ever.”
And it pretty much took the life out of North Carolina.
“This takes our confidence sky high,” Goudelock said. “We try to look at everything in positive way. We’re going to take a lot from this one.”
The Tar Heels’ Dexter Strickland missed a layup with 4 seconds left. Davis’ cross-court pass with less than a second to go was picked off by Monroe and the celebration began.
Monroe clutched the basketball as time ran out and fans rushed the court at the Carolina First Arena. Cremins had his share of success at Georgia Tech for nearly two decades, going 12-33 against the Tar Heels.
This one figured to be out of his team’s reach, however, especially after North Carolina took the 72-61 lead.
But the Cougars called on their long-range shooting to pull out the victory. Goudelock hit two of his four 3s the rest of the way.
In all, Charleston was 13 of 32 from behind the arc. North Carolina’s only 3-pointer came in overtime when Larry Drew II cut Charleston’s lead to 80-79.
Williams was already miffed from the Tar Heels being outscored 23-2 down the stretch in their last game against Albany. That didn’t cost North Carolina, which had built a 38-point lead and won comfortably 87-70.
This time, the Tar Heels paid for their mistakes. They shot 38 percent, were only 1 of 6 on 3s and forced just 10 turnovers.
“This was a great test for us,” Davis said. “We just didn’t get it done.”
That the Tar Heels were in this at all was because of their size and accuracy at the free throw line. North Carolina outrebounded Charleston 56-36 and was 24 of 34 from the line to the Cougars’ 3-of-6 showing.
Casaan Breeden and Monroe both had 15 points for the Cougars.
Deon Thompson added 17 points for the Tar Heels.
North Carolina’s starting backcourt of Drew and Strickland were a combined 5 of 21 from the field for 17 points.
Charleston had never hosted a team ranked as high as No. 9 North Carolina and many Cougar fans wore wigs of Cremins’ signature bleach white hair.
Williams has a beach home just north of the city in the Wild Dunes resort and, with the university on winter break, brought the Tar Heels in on Saturday night with the team staying at the swanky Charleston Place hotel.
Things get more intense for the defending national champs with Atlantic Coast Conference play opening Saturday against Virginia Tech.
“It doesn’t feel good for us right now. It’s a tough, tough night,” Williams said. “But we’ve got to bounce back and be smarter and more effective.”
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