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Heel Tough Blog: Florida State Recap

Updated: Jan 27


After trailing at the half, North Carolina responded with a big second half, to earn another road win, and stay undefeated in ACC play. After almost a month of stellar defense, Carolina gave up 41 first-half points, trailing by 5 at the break. UNC had built an early 19-8 lead, but Florida State connected on seven first-half three-pointers, opening up Carolina’s defense, to build the lead. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels couldn’t stop turning the basketball over, as they committed 12 turnovers, which led to 19 points for the Seminoles. 

Trailing at the half hasn’t been foreign to Carolina during their winning streak, as they trailed on Monday night at home against Wake Forest. After another talking to from their head coach, Carolina came out on fire, making 8 of their first 9 baskets, scoring 22 points in the first six minutes, to turn a six-point deficit, into a double-digit lead. Down the stretch, Carolina’s offense went stale, but Carolina’s defense and rebounding were enough to hold off FSU’s comeback. 

R.J. Davis continued his ACC Player of the Year campaign, scoring 24 points on 9-18 shooting. He extended his school record of consecutive games with multiple made three-pointers to 18 games. His backcourt mate, Elliot Cadeau scored 16 points, overcoming 4-12 shooting from the field, by going 8-9 from the foul line. Lastly, Harrison Ingram continued his rebounding dominance, recording another double-double, scoring 13 points, while bringing down 17 rebounds. Despite shooting 41% from the field, Carolina was able to win, but they made 8 three-pointers to help overcome an uneven shooting performance. 

Today’s game meant a lot to Florida State, as they are trying to build a resume to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. This is another game on Carolina’s schedule that the game means more to the opponent than it does to them, and the fact that Carolina could go on the road, and win in an environment like today, speaks volumes about this team and continues to solidify themselves as a threat to win the national championship. 

  1. Backcourt Duo: Davis and Cadeau combined to score 40 points this afternoon, and both took turns dominating the game at various times. Cadeau’s maturation is still on display, and he took another step tonight, scoring 16 points, including seven in the first stanza to start the second half. While Carolina doesn’t need Cadeau to score every night, but on nights where Armando Bacot wasn’t a factor, you need someone else to score the basketball, and Cadeau is becoming that player. As for R.J. Davis, he continues to play at a high level and furthers his case to be the ACC Player of the Year, and is in the fold for National Player of the Year running as well.

  2. Rebounding: Since ACC play, the Tar Heels have become the best rebounding team in the ACC, and that was the case today, as they won the battle of the boards, 41-32. Harrison Ingram was relentless on the glass, grabbing 17 rebounds, his sixth double-digit rebounding total in his last 8 games. UNC was able to outrebound Florida State, despite Armando Bacot grabbing just 4 rebounds, as this has become a complete rebounding team. Carolina grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and converted them into 14 second-chance points.

  3. Second-Half Defense: Florida State scored 41 points in the first half, on 58% shooting from the field, including going 7-12 from behind the arc. That changed in the second half, as FSU scored 27 points, on 37% shooting, and was only able to connect on 2-8 three-point opportunities. You knew at some point, Carolina would struggle to get stops, and it was going to be interesting to see how they responded, and they did so in the second half, and in the process, allowing fewer than 70 points in another conference game. 

  4. Turnovers: Turnovers will be a big talking point coming out of this game, as Carolina turned it over 17 times, which led to 26 points for the Seminoles. After turning it over 12 times in the first 20 minutes, Carolina limited the turnovers to 5 in the final 20 minutes, doing a much better job handling their full-court press, and overall pressure on the basketball. 

  5. Free Throws: Like the first matchup, Carolina dominated the game at the foul line, going 19-24, compared to 5-11 for FSU. UNC got into the bonus early in the second half and took advantage going 9-10, with the clock stopped. Elliot Cadeau led the way going 8-9 from the foul line, for his best showing at the charity stripe in a game this season. 

  6. ACC Dominance: Carolina is now 9-0 in the ACC for the first time since the 2000-01 season, when they shared the ACC regular season title with Duke. The win today also earned Carolina a regular season sweep of Florida State, meaning they’ve swept an ACC opponent in every season of league play. 

Up Next: Carolina is back on the road on Tuesday night when they travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech. That game is set to tip at 7 PM on ESPN.

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