The No. 18 North Carolina men’s basketball team (3-0) pulled out a 94-83 win in a rapidly-changing game against College of Charleston (3-1) on Tuesday, bringing the Tar Heels’ record to 3-0.
The game started fast-paced for both teams.
College of Charleston took an early 7-point lead, going up 13-6 in the first four minutes of the half. Consecutive layups from junior center Armando Bacot and a dunk from sophomore guard Caleb Love kept the Tar Heels within range. The Cougars were persistent from the arc, though, going 5-for-9 just seven minutes into the half, with guard Reyne Smith going a perfect 3-for-3.
About halfway in, Charleston went on a six-point run, putting the Cougars up by 11. Graduate transfer forward Brady Manek responded with a 3-pointer to kick off an eight-point run to put the Tar Heels within three points.
Nine points from Bacot in the last seven minutes of the half kept UNC in the game, but 11 turnovers versus just five from Charleston made it difficult for the Tar Heels to take the lead. At the end of the first half, the Cougars led 42-36.
Manek started the second half with a three-pointer, followed by an and-one bucket by sophomore guard RJ Davis. Just under four minutes into the second half, Manek sank a three-pointer to give UNC the lead for the first time in the game. Charleston briefly took back the lead with a three-pointer, but consecutive buckets from Bacot gave UNC the edge, leading 52-49.
A jumper from Davis, followed by layups from Bacot and Love put the Tar Heels up by eight — their biggest lead of the game. The Cougars kept the pressure on, trailing by two with just under seven minutes to go.
Free throws put the Cougars within one point, but a three-pointer from sophomore guard Kerwin Walton followed by a jumper by Love gave UNC a six-point lead. With Charleston in the bonus and UNC in the double bonus, free throws kept the game close. Another 3-pointer by Walton and layup from Love put the Tar Heels up by 10 with four minutes on the clock.