Tar Heels drop ACC opener

McAdoo: Loss at Virginia a "disgrace"
Jan. 06, 2013 @ 11:34 PM

North Carolina’s three upperclassmen sat the four freshmen down before ACC play began and said everyone had to raise their games, because the competition was about to get tougher.

That speech is no longer needed – the freshmen saw it for themselves Sunday night.

Virginia shot 52 percent in the second half and held UNC to 16 points in the final 16:25 as the Cavaliers opened the conference season with a 61-52 win.

“God’s blessed this team tremendously; we have such great players, such great leadership,” said sophomore forward James Michael McAdoo, who had 10 points, seven assists and four turnovers. “To come out and perform like we did today is just a disgrace.”

Junior Reggie Bullock, who missed UNC’s last game with a concussion and wasn’t cleared to practice until Friday, scored 22 points on 7 of 9 shooting, one off his career high. He also made 4 of 6 shots from behind the arc and made all four free throw attempts. But the rest of the team struggled against Virginia's trademark defensive intensity and shot just 12 of 42 from the field (28.6 percent), 1 of 13 from long range and 5 of 13 from the stripe.

“We have to have better balance than that,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “We have to get more scoring inside.”

Joe Harris had 19 points for Virginia, while Akil Mitchell had a game-high 11 rebounds despite being questionable with a sprained ankle and senior point guard Jontel Evans, who missed nine games with a foot injury, had eight points and six assists in 21 minutes.

While the Tar Heels (10-4, 0-1) came in third in the nation in scoring at 83.6 points per game, the Cavaliers (11-3, 1-0) were second in scoring defense (50.3) and were able to dictate tempo on Sunday, while also hitting 8 of 14 from 3-point range.

UNC scored on five straight possessions and actually led by eight points with 16:25 remaining when Virginia made a decisive run, which Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett said was ignited when Darion Atkins blocked McAdoo’s dunk attempt.

“Then I think our defense took hold,” Bennett said. “Then they had to earn what they got the rest of the night.”

Holding the Tar Heels scoreless for almost six minutes, Virginia scored 10 straight points to take the lead, and a 3-point play by Harris extended the margin to 49-42, capping a 21-6 run.

Bullock did his best to bring UNC back, scoring eight straight for the Tar Heels on two 3-pointers and a putback to bring the visitors within one at 51-50 with 3:50 remaining.

But the putback would be the last field goal for UNC. Virginia got lay-ups on its next two possessions, while Dexter Strickland airballed a long jump shot, relieving the pressure on the Cavaliers.

UNC would miss three straight shots from behind the arc in an effort to catch up, while Virginia made 6 of 8 from the line down the stretch, even rebounding one of its misses.

Bennett said that UNC’s youth helped the Cavaliers mount their comeback and sustain it down the stretch.

“Because of their inexperience, we were able to climb back into it a little bit,” Bennett said. “Whereas an experienced team might make you pay for that and not let you back in.”

UNC’s freshmen combined to shoot 2 of 12 with three assists and four turnovers. However, Williams said inexperience was no excuse.

“You can’t say you’re young anymore,” Williams said. “We’ve played 13 games. I know this is the first ACC game, but Joe (Harris) comes off a screen and there’s nobody there, and just pulls up and shoots a 3 wide open. It was more a breakdown on both ends of the court, really.”
















Percentages: FG .373, FT .529.

3-Point Goals: 5-17, .294 (Bullock 4-6, Hairston 1-5, Paige 0-3, McDonald 0-3).

Team Rebounds: 6.

Blocked Shots: 2 (Johnson, Bullock).

Turnovers: 12 (McAdoo 4, James 2, Paige 2, McDonald 2, Hairston, Johnson).

Steals: 4 (McDonald, Johnson, McAdoo, Strickland).

Technical Fouls: None.













Percentages: FG .449, FT .500.

3-Point Goals: 8-14, .571 (Nolte 3-5, Jones 2-2, Harris 2-4, Jesperson 1-2, Anderson 0-1).

Team Rebounds: 2.

Blocked Shots: 6 (Atkins 2, Anderson 2, Nolte, Tobey).

Turnovers: 11 (Jones 3, Evans 3, Tobey 3, Harris, Mitchell).

Steals: 6 (Harris 2, Mitchell 2, Jones, Nolte).

Technical Fouls: None.

North Carolina;25;27;—;52



Officials_Karl Hess, Doug Sirmons, John Cahill.