In a tightly contested game, the No. 1 North Carolina men's basketball team (2-0) eventually pulled away from the College of Charleston (1-1) to pull off a 102-86 win on Friday night in the Dean E. Smith Center.
The Cougars knocked down the first shot of the night, but North Carolina’s offense went to work shortly after. Graduate transfer forward Pete Nance worked his way toward the block before kicking it out to graduate wing Leaky Black for a corner three.
North Carolina would open up a five-point lead moments after the first media timeout, but Charleston responded quickly. The long ball ignited a quick 8-0 run for the Cougars which was capped off by Ben Burnham’s 3-pointer to give the visitors a 14-11 lead.
At the 9:42 mark, with Tar Heels still struggling to find their groove from beyond the arc, Charleston continued to pour it on. Dalton Bolon used a quick jab to open up space to connect from distance to extend the Cougars’ lead to six points.
In need of a spark, UNC turned to the play of two of its returning core pieces. Junior guard RJ Davis knocked down the second three of the night for the Tar Heels, swishing a stepback jumper from the corner. Shortly after, Black nailed his second triple, inching the Tar Heels within one.
But just as North Carolina appeared to be finding a rhythm on offense, Ante Brzovic displayed his multi-level scoring ability. The sophomore forward made a 15-footer and jumper from behind the line in the final 90 seconds of the first half to give Charleston a 50-43 lead at the break.
Out of the half, UNC came out with new found life on the defensive end. Junior guard Caleb Love stole a Cougar entry pass coast-to-coast and finish with a layup. Moments later, Love came off a down screen to bury a left-wing three to tie the game.
At the 10:50 mark, Nance’s bullet pass from the wing fought Bacot for a two-handed dunk, opening up a four-point lead for North Carolina. Bacot continued to find success down low, bullying his way to an and-one lay about one minute later.