RALEIGH — No. 7 North Carolina defeated N.C. State 86-74 at the RBC Center here on Tuesday night. A look back at the Tar Heels’ victory against the Wolfpack:
Why the Tar Heels won: Some of the things that have carried UNC to victories all season – namely offensive rebounding, second-chance points and points in the paint – weren’t necessarily factors tonight. And what hadn’t often led the Heels – perimeter shooting – did lead them tonight. UNC made 10-of-19 3-point attempts. The 10 made 3’s were tied for the third-most UNC has made in a game this season. If that wasn’t odd enough, then consider Kendall Marshall’s career-high 22 points. He made 4 of his 5 3-point attempts and also had 13 assists.
The good: The outside shooting. Kendall Marshall’s production. Balanced scoring among the entire starting five. UNC entered Tuesday night shooting 29.5 percent from 3-point range in ACC play, and the Heels showed signs of breaking out of their shooting slump on Saturday against Clemson. But the Heels completely busted out of it against N.C. State. Marshall, meanwhile, put together a stat line for the ages: 22 points, 13 assists and zero turnovers – though UNC coach Roy Williams counted a couple that should have gone to Marshall. And for the first time all season, all five UNC starters scored in double figures.
The bad: There really wasn’t much for UNC on Tuesday night. The Heels played about as clean of a game as they have all season, at least offensively. Defensively, they held the Wolfpack to 36.1 percent shooting, and again UNC successfully limited Scott Wood. He attempted just five shots and finished with three points. The Wolfpack outscored UNC 42-22 in the paint, and 16-8 on second-chance points, but in the context of the game those things didn’t hurt UNC.
Key stat: The 10-of-19 from 3-point range. When UNC is shooting well from the outside, it’s as difficult to beat as any team in the country. They went in tonight.
Key stat II: Marshall finished, at least officially, with 13 assists and zero turnovers. He’s now the only player in ACC history to own an assist-to-turnover ratio of greater than 3.0.
UNC player of the game: Marshall. He’s put up a lot of statistically-impressive performances, none more so than the one he had tonight.
Quotable: “I thought I was watching Jeremy Lin out there. That’s what it looked like. No one could stay in front of him. No one could stop the jump shot. No one could stop the drive.” –Harrison Barnes on Kendall Marshall’s performance