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Wednesday February 8th

After two-year hiatus, UNC JV basketball team wins season opener against Voyager Academy

<p>UNC JV men's basketball tryouts were held in the Dean Smith Center on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022.</p>
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UNC JV men's basketball tryouts were held in the Dean Smith Center on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022.

In its first game in two years, the North Carolina JV men's basketball team dominated Voyager Academy, 76-32, on Friday afternoon in the Dean E. Smith Center.  

What happened?

The game got off to a quick start, with Voyager Academy winning the tip and immediately scoring after a drive to the basket.

UNC found an immediate response, when sophomore Ty’Rell McLucas sank a 3-pointer after running the ball back down the court. The teams then traded possessions before the North Carolina defense settled into a consistent rhythm. 

Both teams went scoreless for almost two minutes, until UNC sophomore Nyikos Fritts was able to capitalize and score off a breakaway layup. This seemed to swing the momentum fully in the Tar Heels favor, as they began to dominate possession. 

This was largely due to an aggressive, full-court press defensive method that forced multiple turnovers on behalf of the Voyagers that UNC was able to convert into points. Five minutes into the game, North Carolina had already tripled the score of its opponent and led 18-6. 

This domination only grew, as the Vikings shooting abilities went cold. They attempted to combat this with a time out with 12:40 left on the clock, but it was to no avail as UNC came out of the break and immediately found first-year William Tyndall empty at the bottom of the key to put up another two points. 

The rest of the period followed a similar trajectory, ultimately culminating in a score of 51-19 at halftime.

Voyager looked for redemption in the second half, implementing an aggressive offensive strategy that saw them immediately put two on the scoreboard. However, poor shooting accuracy and an inability to capitalize off the free throw line caused them to stagnate and the team never closed the gap to under 30 points. 

North Carolina, in contrast, was able to maintain a high shooting percentage from the line, and sink multiple layups to maintain its sizable lead throughout the second half to wrap up a 76-32 win.

Who stood out? 

Tyndall shone for the Tar Heels on both ends of court, playing aggressive defensive and scoring at will. He ended the game with 12 points

Sophomore George Hill also stood out, recording 3 three-pointers en route to scoring 11 points. 

When was it decided?

Although the game began on even footing, the Tar Heels were able to create a steady rhythm after about five minutes on the court and quickly began to run away with the game. Their ability to dominate possession, force constant turnovers and crash the glass rebounding allowed the team to gain a 32-point lead by halftime. 

This absolute control continued throughout the second half, in which North Carolina never allowed Voyager to get within 30 points.

Why does it matter?

The men's JV program has a storied history at UNC, and is one the most unique things about North Carolina Basketball. 

Some JV walk-ons have gone on to graduate to the varsity team, and both Head coach Hubert Davis and former head coach Roy Williams spent time coaching the squad before they moved up to varsity. After a two year hiatus due to COVID-19, its return was much anticipated.

With its strong showing, the team looks to continue this forward momentum into the rest of the season.

When do they play next?

The JV Basketball team will return to the Smith Center on Thursday to face Mount Zion Prep. 

@PeaceGwen 

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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