UNC uses strong second half to beat NC State

For the first 10 or so minutes of the game, North Carolina and NC State went back and forth. Then the two teams each went on runs to close out the first half.

It was the Wolfpack that ended the first half on a 16-1 run to take a 45-37 lead into halftime. But from there, the second half was owned by the Tar Heels as they avoided an upset with just a week left in the regular season.

The Tar Heels took control of the second half, going on a 29-8 run to open the half en route to a 79-70 win over the Wolfpack. That run included a long stretch where NC State went 0-of-15 from the field before hitting a three-pointer to end that skid. But North Caorlina never really lost control of that game in the second half despite the Wolfpack cutting the lead down to 5 at 73-68 with 2:49 left.

Unlike Monday against Miami, the Tar Heels closed this game out strong as RJ Davis had four late points and Elliot Cadeau had a late layup to seal it with the Wolfpack really struggling in that second half.

It was UNC’s defense that really put the clamps down in that stretch of about 11 minutes where the Wolfpack couldn’t make a field goal. They forced multiple turnovers and tough shots from the Wolfpack, bothering them on that end of the floor. It was a totally different UNC defense than we saw in the first half as the Wolfpack made seven three-pointers in the first half.

They made just two in the second half and shot just 22 percent from the field.

Harrison Ingram led all scorers with 22 points including scoring 7 of the first 9 points for the Tar Heels. Three other starters had double figures in scoring with Elliot Cadeau going for 15, Davis for 14 and Armando Bacot having 13.

Player of the Game

This one was tough as there were two big-time candidates for the Tar Heels in Cadeau and Ingram. Today, I’ll give it to Cadeau.

He played really well on both ends of the court, scoring 15 points and dishing out 7 assists. His passing ability was on display again, finding the open man and putting his team in good situations.

What’s next?

North Carolina hosts senior night on Tuesday as they host Notre Dame for the home finale. They will look to at least claim a guaranteed share of the ACC regular-season title with a win over the Fighting Irish.

North Carolina has already claimed a double-bye in the ACC Tournament.

Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire