The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday February 6th

Scott, Tar Heels Stave Off Late Monarch Comeback

The Tar Heels were in trouble Sunday at Old Dominion.

In the midst of a 10-2 Monarch run late in the second half, ODU and its home crowd had the momentum and an edge.

A year ago, who knows what would've happened next. But Scott buried a clutch step-back 3-pointer from the left wing with five minutes to go to hold off the Monarchs' late run and help give UNC an ugly 67-59 win Sunday afternoon before a sellout crowd 8,424 at the brand-new Constant Convocation Center.

"I was just waiting for my turn, and the opportunity to do something,"

Scott said, smiling. "The opportunity presented itself, and I looked danger in the eye and hit that big 3."

After being manhandled on the glass and outplayed for large stretches of the second half, UNC (3-0) used big games from Sean May, Rashad McCants and Jawad Williams and a staunch defensive effort to hold on as the final buzzer neared.

The Monarchs (0-1) had used the tough offensive rebounding of center Alex Loughton and rugged forward Ricardo Marsh to claw their way back into the game, often getting two or three shots per possession.

"We've got to compensate for our lack of size and bulk," said UNC coach Matt Doherty. "We've got to bring great energy to the defensive boards every game, and I don't think we did that today."

ODU finished with 24 offensive boards, and three players -- Loughton, Marsh and reserve forward T.J. Waldon -- grabbed five offensive boards each.

"They're just real aggressive on the boards," said May, who scored 16 points and hauled in eight rebounds. "We have to work on our boxouts."

But down the stretch, the Tar Heels locked down the Monarchs with a man-to-man defensive pressure that forced ODU into quick shots. Following the Scott triple, Monarch guard Kiah Thomas misfired on an open 3 from the top of the key.

Thomas finished 2-of-8 from the field and 1-of-6 from 3-point range, and the rest of his team didn't fare much better. ODU shot 29.2 percent from the floor and 28.6 percent from long-range Sunday.

For a while, though, the Tar Heels' defense seemed like it would be an afterthought. The game's ragged finish was a surprise considering UNC's quick start, during which it made its first nine shots.

By the time Scott missed a left-corner trey with 11:30 to go in the first half, the Tar Heels were up 10 and cruising. Williams was particularly steady during the early run, scoring 14 first-half points en route to his game-high 18.

The lead would top out at 15, but ODU wouldn't go away.

Despite the obvious problems, it was still the first road win for a young team -- one that will soon be playing No. 2 Kansas at New York City's Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

"We didn't really have a good game," UNC point guard Raymond Felton. "I'm not saying we're struggling because we're winning."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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