ASHEVILLE, N.C.- Texas pulls North Carolina's number as the Longhorns win their first Maui Invitational in program history, 69-67.
The Tar Heels almost snuck away with the win deep in the second half, but the Longhorns fought through with the guidance of senior Matt Coleman and sealed the deal with a fadeaway jumper at the free-throw line. Coleman was a thorn in North Carolina's side as he dominated and led his team with 22 points and three assists.
Carolina led 15-10 before Texas gained momentum and went on a 14-0 run. UNC trailed by 16 in the first half and 12 at the break before tying the game on a Caleb Love free throw with 3:54 to play. UNC took its early lead of the second half at 65-63 on a Garrison Brooks baseline jumper with 2:35 left, but that was UNC's last field goal of the game, but it was Leaky Black who came in the clutch for the Heels again as his two free throws tied the game at 67 with 25 seconds left to play.
For the first time this season, a North Carolina freshman did not lead in point; alternatively, senior Garrison Brooks finished with 18 points and seven rebounds. Junior Armando Bacot achieved his first double-double of the season and 12th of his career with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
"We showed a lot of toughness, especially in the second game on winning the close game and losing one like this. When we're down, and it shows the toughness that we have." Brooks said, "We can fight and come back. We are still one of the best teams in the country when we do what we're supposed to do, not turn the ball over and play hard."
Attention to details will sum up the Heels' loss to the Longhorns; Spacing, missed free throws, missed shots, and turnovers played a sizable part. Carolina had only six assists on 24 baskets and are the fewest since the Tar Heels had six at Virginia in December 2019. The six assists were also the second-fewest under Williams. Carolina was 1 for nine from three-point range; No starter made a three. Kerwin Walton made the only three for the Tar Heels.
I think their (Texas) attention to detail and sense of urgency was much better than ours. We turned the ball over way too many times. Yes, we have freshmen guards, but at some point in your life, you got to stop turning the ball over." Williams stated, "We dug ourselves a big hole, not making free throws and turning the ball over the first half. We had four turnovers in the second half, but we still missed three free throws in the last two minutes. That's the two biggest problems that we had today."
The highlight of the night for the Heels came in the rebound category. UNC out-rebounded the Longhorns, 50-32, with 20 offensive rebounds that led to the 25 second-chance points.
In addition to tonight's win, the Longhorns have won four in a row against the Heels and leads the series, 9-3.
North Carolina's next game will be Tuesday, December 8 at Iowa, ACC-Big Ten Challenge at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Stay with AllTarHeels for all your Tar Heel sports updates.
You can follow us for future coverage by clicking “Follow” on the top right hand corner of the page.
Please post any comments below!