UNC Basketball: Tar Heels comeback to beat Tennessee

It wasn’t pretty as UNC had to rally to beat Tennessee at home on Sunday

If Roy Williams was angry after the North Carolina Tar Heels victory against Davidson, I am sure that he was livid after this performance against an unranked Tennessee Volunteer team.

The Tar Heels were behind most of the game and at one time trailed by 15.

UNC basketball this season has been for the most part positive leading to a 10-1 record. However, the Tar Heels have had issues, struggling with out Joel Berry running the point.

Berry has been out the last two games with an ankle sprain.  Against Davidson the ball movement and the offense were not nearly as potent in the absence of Berry.

Carolina looked flat and so did the crowd in the first half.

The Tar Heels took an early lead 11-10 and after that, the first half was all Volunteers.  At one point Carolina was down 15 and the Dean Dome was quiet and there was no home court advantage.

The game was all Vols and Carolina had no answer for senior guard Robert Hubbs who lead the Vols with 21 points.

The Tar Heels could not execute with their starting point guard on the bench.  Combine that with the team high scorer Justin Jackson struggling it was a recipe for a huge upset.

The halftime score was 44-36 Tennessee.

Jackson was unable to find the range and missed all of six of his three point attempts. Jackson ended the game with seven points and shot just three of 15 from the field.

Despite the ugly nature of the game and only shooting 39.7 percent from the field and 54 percent from the charity stripe UNC took the lead with just 2:14 left in the second half on a Justin Jackson layup.  This in part to take care of the glass.

The Tar Heels managed 22 offensive rebounds and won the rebound battle 41-32.

This was about the only statistical category that the Tar Heels had the advantage but it proved to be a crucial difference.

The game was close to the end. The Volunteers had a chance to win with a three or tie with a two on their last possession.

Luckily for Carolina, Coach Williams sent Tony Bradley into the game on the virtual last possession for the Vols.  The 6-foot-10 freshman delivered with a big time block of a driving Lamonte Turner that sealed the victory for the Tar Heels.

Kenny Williams lead the Heels in scoring with 12. Nate Britt had a solid game with 10 points and seven assists.

Britt had a three-point play in the second half that help rally the Heels. Freshman Seventh Woods was productive with three rebounds and six points but had three turnovers.

It was not the best game for the Heels but it was a victory and the team now moves to 10-1 and 5-0 at home.

Carolina has six days to prepare for a battle with the Kentucky Wildcats in Las Vegas.

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