If it’s not one thing it’s another that plagues this team. Against Georgia Tech it was a historically bad start on the offensive in the first half, combined with the inability to get stops defensively that allowed Georgia Tech to win in the Smith Center. Tonight it was careless turnovers and the lack of shooting that allowed Pittsburgh to overcome a 14 point deficit, to earn their first ever win in Chapel Hill. Carolina held a 9 point halftime lead, as it appeared they would control the final 20 minutes on their way to a must win. Trey McGowens had different plans as the sophomore Hayes exploded in the second frame. McGowens finished with 24 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds. He was the best player on the floor, as Carolina had no answers once he got into the rhythm of the game. Justin Champagine player sidekick to McGowens, dropping 22 points while
connecting on 4 triples in a stretch of the second half. This is a big win for the Panthers who secured their first road win in the ACC since 2017, as Jeff Chapel continues to revive a once proud program.
The injuries, the inexperience, the lack of toughness all resurfaced after halftime for the Tar Heels. For the game Carolina mustered 41% from the field, as Pittsburgh clamped the offense down in the second period.They dominated the Panthers on the glass 42-27, but failed to turn their 14 offensive rebounds into enough points to give the offense a boost. While we’ve learned for the most part what this team is, here are 3 takeaways from another frustrating home loss:
1. Careless Turnovers: These led to easy buckets for a Pittsburgh offense that wasn’t in any rhythm in the first half. Even though this team is young, it’s too late in the season to be throwing the ball away on multiple possessions.
2. Missed Free Throws: Even if they had made all their freebie, they would’ve fell short it was the situations that doomed this team. Brooks missed 2 after being fouled on a shot attempt, and later failed to complete a and-1 in the final minutes. Brandon Robinson missed 1-2 in the final minutes as well, which didn’t allow them to score points with the clock stopped, as they tried to complete a comeback.
3. Nobody Made Shots: Every time a player shoots the ball, they are simply praying it falls. There’s absolutely zero confidence when they step into the shot. Robinson has the most confidence, which isn’t saying much as the senior has struggled all year long with his shot. Pierce and Keeling are reluctant to shoot the ball, and when they do they simply can‘t concert, or take a bad shot. The only way this offense progresses, is if someone is tough enough to make shots on the perimeter.
Up Next: Carolina will look to avoid a 3 game losing streak on Saturday when they host Clemson. The battle with the Tigers, will tip at 4:30.