A win over Charleston Southern last Friday was the perfect way for the Tar Heels to bring in 2024. And last night they earned their first true road win over Pittsburgh.
The No.8-ranked Tar Heels moved to 10-3 overall (2-0 ACC), defeating the Panthers 70-57 at Petersen Events Center as they now move full steam ahead into ACC play.
Historically, North Carolina hasn’t performed well against the Panthers – losing five of the last six matchups in the series – but Wednesday night turned over a new leaf and the win also marks head coach Hubert Davis’ first Pitt win in three tries.
UNC’s vets Armando Bacot and RJ Davis led the scoring drive with 16 and 15 points respectively and sophomore guard Seth Trimble contributed 10 points off the bench. Bacot also became just the seventh player in program history to surpass 2,000 career points.
After missing 10 straight field goals to start the game, the Tar Heels didn’t score until the 13:30 mark in the first half with RJ Davis pulling for a three-pointer. UNC then caught up to Pitt with just under seven minutes remaining as Cormac Ryan put up a corner jumper for the first lead of the game. From there, the Tar Heels used the free-throw line to their advantage as they sealed the first half with a 31-28 lead,
magnified by a buzzer beater from Davis.
While Trimble struggled to find his rhythm a bit, he provided a much-needed boost to North Carolina’s defense and supplemented his performance with six rebounds. This performance comes after he matched a career-high he put up against Charleston Southern.
It was a struggle in the first half, but going into the second it was like a light bulb clicked as the Tar Heels never let the Panthers get within five points for the remainder of the contest.
North Carolina shot 36.5 percent (23-of-63) from the field, 29.4 percent (5-of-17) from the three-point line, and 86.4 percent (19-of-22) from the free throw line.
Next on their three-game road stretch, UNC will head down to South Carolina later this week as they prepare to face. No. 16 Clemson at Littlejohn Coliseum on Jan. 6. The Tigers are ranked first in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 11-1 record. The Tar Heels are ranked third in the ACC, second only to Miami who the Tigers will face tonight in Coral Gables.