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No. 14 UNC men's basketball takes down No. 20 Arkansas to wrap up Battle 4 Atlantis play

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UNC sophomore guard Seth Trimble (7) shoots a three-pointer during the basketball game against Radford on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, in the Dean E. Smith Center. UNC won 86-70.

Against its first ranked opponent of the season, No. 14 UNC men’s basketball earned a victory against No. 20 Arkansas Friday, 87-72. It was a much-needed win after losing its first game of the season on Thursday to Villanova.

With graduate guard Cormac Ryan out due to injury, first-year guard Elliot Cadeau stepped into the starting lineup for the first time in his UNC career. He was quiet for much of the game, though, only accumulating seven points and 3 assists.

Junior forward Harrison Ingram got the scoring started for UNC. Backing his defender down, he kissed the ball off the glass for the bucket. Running down the court, Ingram put his hand low to the court to indicate to his defender that he was too small. 

Five minutes into the first half, a steal and fastbreak score by senior guard RJ Davis capped off a 9-0 run to give UNC a 14-4 lead. The Tar Heel lead grew to as much as 12 in the first half.

Four consecutive missed free throws by Cadeau and sophomore forward Jalen Washington on top of a five-minute field goal drought, though, allowed Arkansas to chip away at the lead near the end of the first frame. A long two from Arkansas guard Tramon Mark tied the game with a little over two minutes to play.

Shot clock turned off in the waning seconds of the first half, Cadeau turned it over for an easy fast-break layup for Arkansas to give the Razorbacks a 38-35 lead into halftime. It was Cadeau’s first turnover of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. 

After a back-and-forth first four minutes of action in the second half, Mark swished home a long triple to keep the Razorbacks on top by one. Davis matched that with a trey of his own to put the Tar Heels back up by two.

Two minutes later, the Tar Heels began to find their rhythm on both sides of the ball. To bookend an 11-2 run, Davis collected an outlet pass from Cadeau, shimmied to his right, and used his right hand to bank home a layup. With less than 10 minutes to go, Ingram bullied his way into the paint and hooked in a bucket to give UNC a 13-point lead — its biggest of the game.

As the Razorbacks began to chip away at the lead, Ingram continued to assert his dominance in the paint. Back to the basket, Ingram hooked in another basket through contact for an and-1. On the following possession, Davis laid in an and-1 of his own to extend the UNC lead back up to 11. 

The final bucket of the game came from Davis, who laid in his 30th point of the game with 30 seconds to go. He remained the leader on the offensive end for this UNC team, tying his career high in points. It was also his first 30-point game since March of 2022, when UNC defeated No. 1 seed Baylor in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Sophomore guard Seth Trimble also had a career high with 12 points. He went 2-2 from behind the arc, the most 3-pointers he’s ever hit in one game. 

The Tar Heels will return home on Wednesday to take on another ranked SEC opponent, No. 7 Tennessee, in the ACC-SEC Challenge. Tip-off is at 7:15 p.m.

@brendan_lunga18

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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