The No. 3 North Carolina men's basketball team closed out a perfect ACC road record with a 79-66 victory over Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass., Tuesday night.
The Tar Heels found success down low and were powered to victory on the backs of double-doubles by Luke Maye and Cameron Johnson. Here are five takeaways from the Tar Heels’ blowout victory.
UNC did what no other school in the ACC, Big Ten, SEC, Pac 12, Big 12, Big East or American conferences has done all season, and won its 11th road game of the season on Tuesday night.
It was the seventh time in school history that the Tar Heels closed out their conference road schedule without a single blemish. UNC is the second school in ACC history to go 9-0 on the road after UVA did it last season.
It's head coach Roy Williams’ second time leading a team to at least eight ACC road wins. He also did it with the 2008 UNC squad.
Ky Bowman versus Luke Maye
The two nearly opposite players embodied how North Carolina willed its playing style on Boston College.
Ky Bowman paced the Eagles early, pouring in nine points on three 3-pointers in the first 2:40. The Tar Heels kept the fast-paced guard from getting to the basket, however, as he took 10 3-point attempts in the first half, making five of them. No other Eagle had more than three points in the half.
With 13:00 to play, Luke Maye scored his 10th point of the game on a layup to give the Tar Heels the lead and kick off a 12-point run. Maye asserted himself, with no one on the Eagles able to keep the senior forward from getting to the paint. He finished the first half with 15 points on 6-8 shooting.
On the defensive end, Maye caused perhaps even more trouble for BC. At halftime, he had already posted eight of his 10 boards on the defensive side.
UNC struggled shooting in the second half, shooting 11.1 percent from three and 36.1 percent from the field in the half. But Maye’s total 17 points and career-high 20 rebounds helped counteract Bowman’s seven 3-pointers. Even without consistent shooting, UNC’s paint play was too much for the Eagle’s spaced-out effort.
Cameron Johnson stays hot
Graduate Cameron Johnson has been one of the most automatic 3-point shooters in the nation this season, but he was even more effective from inside the arc against BC.
In the first half, he was 3-5 from three. Not to be outdone by Maye, Johnson also snagged seven rebounds himself in the first half. In the first half he also found success from short range, scoring six 2-point field goals in the game.
After the break, he found his way to the basket with ease en route to a total of 22 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. It was his fourth double-double of the season.
The halftime rebounding margin was 32-18 in favor of the Tar Heels. With both Maye and Johnson recording double-digit rebounds, UNC snagged 60 boards in the game, tying its season high. Boston College could muster only 35.
UNC’s control of the glass on defense was perhaps its most dominating presence of the game. UNC grabbed 40 Boston College misses, while the Eagles were only able to grab seven of their own. With the home team shooting 34.3 percent on the game, this put the ball back in the Tar Heels' hands for much of the game.
Junior Brandon Robinson was the first-half assist leader for UNC with four assists — in only eight minutes. The team assisted on 13 of its 19 first-half field goals, and 22 of its 32 makes in the game.
Maye and Johnson seemed to light up every statistic on the night, and they tied for the team lead with five assists apiece. First-year Coby White, whose 11 points were relatively quiet in comparison to his 62 combined points in the previous two games, had three assists of his own. Senior Kenny Williams joined Robinson with four.
The myriad ball distributors gave UNC the flexibility to get the ball down low no matter what BC’s defense threw at it. Even with North Carolina’s deep bench players allowing BC to climb within 13 in the closing seconds, UNC’s first-half dominance and paint presence was too much to overcome in the 79-66 victory.
The win sets up North Carolina's regular season finale against No. 4 Duke in Chapel Hill on Saturday, with a chance to win its 16th conference game of the season.
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