The UNC basketball program took control early against Notre Dame, picking up a decisive victory on its home floor Saturday afternoon.
Caleb Love started the game by hitting a wide 3-pointer.
From there, the UNC basketball program left little doubt how this game would end.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
North Carolina Tar heel
The Tar Heels led for more than 34 minutes as they defeated Notre Dame to improve to 11-5 on the season. With the win, North Carolina now holds a record above .500 in ACC play.
North Carolina was without Pete Nance, who is still battling a lower back injury. Hubert Davis elected to start Seth Trimble in his place, as the three-back lineup worked well in the team’s recent win over Wake Forest.
With the ability to combine, Davis got very good production from his bench.
Puff Johnson, after not playing much in the last two contests, hit four of his five shots from the floor while finishing with 11 points in 22 minutes of action.
D’Marco Dunn provided very energetic minutes, as he finished with seven points in his 15 minutes of action.
Of course, as good as the bench was in this case, the joint duo of Armando Bacot and Caleb Love stole the show.
Bacot recorded his 58th career double-double, finishing the game with 21 points and 13 rebounds. After a tough game against Wake Forest, Love came back strong, posting 18 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Things got a little choppy in the second half though, as Puff Johnson was fouled hard while dunking the basketball on a fast break. After initiating a hard foul, Notre Dame senior Cormac Ryan fell on top of Johnson and gently kicked him in the face.
Well, that didn’t suit love.
A small fight ensued, with Love telling Ryan “don’t do that.” The play would go to the monitor and Ryan would be ejected and Love and Notre Dame Freshman Dom Campbell would collect technical fouls.
However, as much as Notre Dame tried to sneak back into the game, the Tar Heels just wouldn’t have it. The lead was cut to just 9 in the second half, but the UNC basketball program found ways to keep the Fighting Irish at bay.
Riding a two-game winning streak, the Tar Heels prepare for a big road matchup against 11th-ranked Virginia on Tuesday night. This game will certainly help gauge where this group is at this point in the 2022-2023 season.
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