The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday June 5th

UNC Defense Shuts Down Golden Eagles

Still, Doherty needed to find some way to motivate his squad. The Tar Heels were leading Marquette by 18 points at halftime on Saturday, and UNC's coach didn't want to see his team suffer through a letdown. So he made a bet with his team.

Doherty didn't specify exactly what the favor would be, but his players would be rewarded nonetheless if they held Marquette to less than 30-percent shooting for the game.

Mission accomplished. The sixth-ranked Tar Heels put forth a stifling defensive effort for 40 minutes and throttled Marquette 84-54 at the Smith Center. UNC limited the Golden Eagles to 29.5-percent shooting on 61 attempts from the field.

"I probably said 'No letdowns' 15 times at halftime," Doherty said. "That, as a coach, has always been one of my fears, is that a team lets down in the second half after building a nice lead."

The Tar Heels (13-2) built that nice lead by holding Marquette to 28-percent shooting in the first half. UNC also took 20 trips to the charity stripe.

The Golden Eagles (7-6) committed their seventh foul with 12:29 left in the first half. UNC scored 13 of its next 25 points before halftime from the foul line.

UNC finished the contest by making 31-of-36 freebies. Post players Julius Peppers and Brendan Haywood combined to hit 16-of-20 from the line.

"I hope I can keep doing it because this team is going to need those free throws," Haywood said.

Haywood scored a team-high 17 points and was one of five Tar Heel players to finish with double figures in scoring. Peppers came off the bench to post 13 points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes.

Joseph Forte was held to 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting, but he played a big role keeping Marquette's Brian Wardle in check. Wardle was limited to 5-of-16 shooting. "He can shoot it from anywhere," Forte said. "(Coach Doherty) gave me a challenge, and I think I answered it."

The Tar Heels have held eight of their last 10 opponents to less than 38-percent shooting. UNC has won all 10 of those games.

This game differed on the surface from the others during the streak. Marquette came into the contest holding opponents to 58.2 points. The Golden Eagles had held DePaul and Cincinnati to less than 50 points in wins before their game against UNC

But the Tar Heels didn't let Marquette's deliberate style bother them.

"I think we're versatile enough that we can play different against different styles and still be successful," Doherty said. "We can grind it out and hopefully win in the 50s or open it up and win in the 90s."

UNC almost managed to reach 90 points, and its 30-point margin of victory left Marquette coach Tom Crean less than pleased after the game.

But after UNC's blue team -- running Marquette's offense -- torched the starters in practice Friday, UNC was in no mood to mess around Saturday.

"We couldn't let up because that's not what Carolina is all about," Haywood said. "We had to keep pounding them and pounding them."

Sounds like the Tar Heels took Doherty's halftime speech to heart.

The Sports Editor can be reached at

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


The Daily Tar Heel Women's Tennis Victory Paper

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive