It’s halftime at the Smith Center, and the No. 4 Virginia men’s basketball team leads No. 8 North Carolina, 36-29. Virginia sophomore De’Andre Hunter leads all scorers with 10 points.
The game got off to a blistering start, and perimeter shooting was the story of the early minutes. Six made 3-pointers on a combined eight total shots fell for UNC and Virginia in the opening four minutes as UNC got out to a 9-8 lead. A hot start from Kenny Williams, which included two straight 3-pointers on UNC’s first two possessions helped the Tar Heels.
From there, a 10-2 run from Virginia put the Cavaliers in control.
UNC shot almost as many 3-pointers thas it did two-point field goals. UNC’s offense was carried by perimeter shooting, as Williams, Coby White, Brandon Robinson and Cameron Johnson all knocked in 3-pointers. But Virginia’s pack-line defense gave UNC problems. The Tar Heels have been unable to generate any significant offense inside the paint.
UNC didn’t get its first points in the paint until there were 6:40 remaining, on a Garrison Brooks layup. Virginia has been much more efficient shooting the ball than has UNC, and that has been the difference in the first half. To pull off a win in this one, UNC will need to get to the rim more often, and hit some higher-percentage shots.