CHAPEL HILL, N.C. –– The difference maker in tonight’s game was the lack of offensive efficiency from a Wolfpack squad who lost their first home game of the season with a 67–54 beatdown at PNC Arena.
Despite a slow start, UNC’s RJ Davis led the scoring drive with 16 points – shooting 6-of-19 from the field. Freshman guard Elliot Cadeau also had a big night, scoring in double digits for just the third time this season with 11 points. He also provided six assists.
The dagger for the Wolfpack, however, was forward Harrison Ingram who grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds en route to the Tar Heels win. Struggling with a slight wrist sprain, Ingram had difficulty putting up shots tonight but made up for it with his boards.
“I’ve never had this much confidence in a team,” Ingram said after the game. “I feel like I’m the best player I’ve been.”
It was the second time this week that the junior had a career-high rebounds after totaling 15 during the win over Pitt on Jan. 2.
“Harrison really hurt us by going to the glass so much,” N.C. State head coach Kevin Keatts after the game. “Shots weren’t going in for us and we weren’t getting back like we were supposed to.”
The Wolfpack shot just 9.5 percent from the three-point line, making just 2 of their 21 shots from the arc. They missed all 10 of their attempts in the first half with junior guard Jayden Taylor finally breaking the ice in the second half to put the Wolfpack within four. But this momentum didn’t last long, as RJ Davis quickly took the ball to the other end of the court off a fastbreak to put up his second three-point shot of
the night and their field goal percentage wasn’t much better at 26.9 percent off 18-of-67 shooting.
NCSU’s leading scorer, DJ Horne, was held to just six points going for just 2-of-16 from the field. Graduate guard Casey Morsell led with 12 points followed by D.J. Burns Jr.’s 11 points.
Tonight was the third straight game where the Tar Heels held their opponent to under 60 points, all of which were tough road stints for the Heels.
Back at home this weekend, the No.7-ranked Tar Heels will head to the Dean E. Smith Center on Saturday for a noon game against Syracuse in what will be their first home game since blowing out Charleston Southern on Dec. 29.
The Orange moved to 11-4 on the season (2-2 ACC) after a 69-59 win over Boston College Wednesday night.
- Carolina is 4-0 in ACC play for the first time since 2015-16 (won its first eight ACC games that season).
- Carolina won its third straight road game holding the opponents under 60 points in all three, the first time it did that since 1998-99 (72-54 win at Florida State on 1/6/99, 59-56 win at NC State on 1/16/99 and 52-40 win at Wake Forest on 1/23/99).
- Harrison Ingram grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds, most ever by a Tar Heel against NC State (in 245 games). Armando Bacot had 18 twice and Billy Cunningham had 18 in 1965.
- Carolina held the Wolfpack to 54 points, lowest by NC State in the series since a 60-52 Tar Heel victory in Raleigh on 1/28/2001.
- NC State shot 26.9% from the floor (18 of 67), lowest by the Pack against the Tar Heels since at least 1954. The previous low in that stretch was 28.3% in the 1998 ACC Tournament quarterfinals, a 73-46 UNC victory (our records don’t include NC State’s shooting percentages for several games from 1952-54).