Tar Heels take down Charleston at home
John Henson scored a career-high 19 points and ignited the decisive second-half run to help No. 25 North Carolina beat College of Charleston 74-69 Sunday night.
Henson also had seven rebounds and two blocked shots for the Tar Heels (4-2), who rallied from a five-point deficit midway through the second half to win their second straight game.
North Carolina had all kinds of trouble avenging last year’s overtime loss to the Cougars (4-3), who never let the Tar Heels put away the game after they finally went back ahead.
The Tar Heels, who led by just a point at halftime, shot 53 percent after the break.
Andrew Goudelock scored 28 points to lead Charleston, which hit nine three-pointers, but missed plenty of good looks in the second half.
The Cougars also consistently pounded the boards, grabbing 19 offensive rebounds and scoring 22 second-chance points against the bigger Tar Heels.
Goudelock had a huge day against the Tar Heels last year, hitting the tying three in the final seconds of regulation on the way to a game-high 24 points in the win. He got off to a slow start Sunday, though, missing his first five shots and scoring just five points in the opening half before he got rolling with an dazzling two-minute flurry.
He made five straight shots for 13 points, including back-to-back three-pointers from a several feet behind the arc, that gave the Cougars a 48-43 lead with 13 minutes left.
It was one of many sequences that proved Charleston just wasn’t afraid of North Carolina, down to when Trent Wiedeman stuffed down a one-handed reverse dunk against Tyler Zeller for the Cougars’ final lead at 54-52.
Yet the Tar Heels, whose transition offense has been missing in action for much of this season, finally got out on the break and even started scrapping on the offensive glass to take back control. Henson banked in a shot in the lane off an offensive rebound to put the Tar Heels ahead for good with about 7 1/2 minutes left, which started an 8-0 run that finally gave them some breathing room.
Dexter Strickland followed with a dunk after a steal from Harrison Barnes, while Henson capped the run with a confident hook over Jeremy Simmons to make it 64-56 with 4:51 to play.
North Carolina overcame shaky performances from top scorers Zeller and Barnes. Zeller had eight points on 4 for 12 shooting and fell short of double figures for the first time all year, while Barnes had eight points, going just 3 for 12 from the field.