CLEMSON, S.C. — The North Carolina men's basketball team defeated Clemson, 89-86, in overtime inside Littlejohn Coliseum on Tuesday night.
North Carolina came out of the gates as sluggish as it played against Georgia Tech in its ACC opener on New Year's Eve.
The Tar Heels shot just 41.7 percent from the field over the first 20 minutes, and went into the break trailing the Tigers, 43-38.
UNC struggled at the beginning of the second half, too, missing its first two shots and turned the ball over to get things started.
But from there, the Tar Heels were able to find their rhythm thanks to the play of Joel Berry. Berry scored 23 of his 31 points in the second half and overtime, putting his team in the driver's seat and keeping it there when Clemson threatened to take the game back.
The Tigers tied the game on a 3-pointer by Marcquise Reed with 22 seconds left. On UNC's ensuing possession, Berry turned the ball over and fouled Clemson's Avry Holmes. Holmes missed the front end of a 1-and-1, UNC grabbed the rebound and called a timeout.
Berry had a shot at the buzzer beater, but he missed a runner as time expired, sending the game to overtime.
Clemson led in the opening minutes of overtime, but grabbed control of the game after a Kennedy Meeks' offensive rebound and bucket gave the team an 83-82 lead. The Tar Heels were able to lock down defensively from there, forcing a turnover and icing the game.