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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC pulls out overtime victory over No. 23 Ohio State, 89-85, in Madison Square Garden

UNC senior Armando Bacot (5) takes a shot during the men's basketball game against Ohio State at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. UNC beat Ohio State 89-84.

The North Carolina men's basketball team (8-4, 1-1 ACC) defeated the No. 23 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-3), 89-85, in the CBS Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  

What happened?

North Carolina won the opening tip and graduate forward Leaky Black missed a tough contested layup for the first shot of the game. Ohio State hit a wide open 3-pointer on their first possession, taking a quick lead.

Junior guard RJ Davis hit a runner for UNC’s first basket of the game, and junior wing Puff Johnson got a steal on Ohio State’s next possession, leading to a fastbreak and-one, but missed the free throw.  

After graduate transfer forward Pete Nance tied the game, UNC took its first lead off of junior guard Caleb Love’s 3-pointer from the top of the key. A Buckeyes turnover led to another Davis bucket, extending the UNC run to 7-0 entering the first media timeout. 

The Buckeyes went on an 18-2 run midway through the first half, taking a 28-16 lead, forcing UNC head coach Hubert Davis to take his first timeout with 8:31 remaining in the first half. 

Ohio State continued their run following the break, but Love found senior forward Armando Bacot on a backdoor cut for an easy dunk, and after an OSU miss, Bacot completed a three-point-play on the next possession, again from a Love assist. Bacot’s 10 straight points cut the lead to 36-30 with 3:10 left in the first. 

UNC came out of the break quickly and with intensity, opening the second half on a 10-2 run thanks to buckets from Nance, Love, Black and Bacot, leading to an OSU timeout and UNC trailing by just one. 

Ohio State continued to make shots when UNC got close, and with the help of some misses from the Tar Heels, extended their lead to nine with 11:19 to play. Following a media timeout, UNC implemented a full court press, putting pressure on the Buckeyes and slowing cutting into their lead. Black hit a three following two made free throws by OSU, cutting Buckeye lead to just one. 

After OSU took a 74-72 lead, Davis hit a three from the wing, giving UNC the lead for the first time since 13:22 left in the first half. With the game tied at 77, Ohio State first-year forward Brice Sensabaugh hit a jump shot over Black with two seconds left, but Nance hit a turnaround jumper as time expired to send the game to overtime. 

North Carolina made two quick baskets to start the overtime period, and jumped to an 85-82 lead. The Tar Heels held the lead for the rest of overtime, completing a come-from-behind win to defeat the Buckeyes. 

Who stood out? 

Bacot continued his hot streak and offensive efficiency following his return from injury. He recorded another double-double and lead the Tar Heels with 28 points and 15 rebounds.  

Nance scored just eight points, but hit the game-tying shot to send the game to overtime. Love and Davis added 22 and 21 points respectively, with both making key shots down the stretch for the Tar Heels.  

When was it decided?

While Ohio State looked in control for most of the game, a late run from the Tar Heels and a quick start to the overtime period lifted North Carolina to a five point win.  

Why does it matter?

The win marks the first against a top-25 team for the Tar Heels this season, adding an important win to the Heel’s resume. Prior, the Tar Heels were 0-2 on the season against top-25 opponents.

When do they play next?

North Carolina takes on Michigan in the Jumpman Invitational on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m.


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