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Sports
Trajectory climbs for UNC as Brooks calls win team's best result
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CHAPEL HILL — As he fielded postgame questions Tuesday night with a smile that seemed permanently affixed to his face, Garrison Brooks’ demeanor said plenty about North Carolina’s state of affairs without the need of uttering a word.

But for good measure, the veteran leader went ahead and pronounced what just had been accomplished against Pittsburgh as his team’s top-ranking result of the season.

“I think it’s our best victory, coming on the road against a really good team like Pitt,” Brooks said. “I think we can only get better from here. I think we’re hitting our stride at the right time, we’ve just got to keep getting better.”

The Tar Heels’ upward trajectory climbed another notch, arguably their most significant step thus far, during what became a 75-65 defeat of the Panthers in Atlantic Coast Conference basketball at Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh.

Armando Bacot, furthering his recent surge, pumped in a season-high 21 points to go with 10 rebounds and Brooks supplied 16 points, as North Carolina withstood Pitt standout Justin Champagnie, the league leader in scoring and rebounding.

North Carolina (11-5 overall, 6-3 ACC) improved to 6-1 during the month of January, and secured an outcome that could pay dividends in March. Beating the Panthers (8-4, 4-3) provided the Tar Heels with their first Quadrant 1 victory of the season, the most valued tier among NCAA Tournament selection criteria.

“I feel like this group, we’re just getting a lot better,” Bacot said. “We’re starting to talk more on defense, everybody’s starting to play how they’re supposed to play. So it’s been going good.”

Kerwin Walton added 10 points for North Carolina, which connected on 60.7-% shooting in the second half, its best clip in a half this season, and hit 28 of 44 attempts inside the 3-point arc on the night for a 63.6-% rate from 2-point range.

The Tar Heels matched a season high by recording 22 assists on their 32 successful field goals, and held 16-point leads on two occasions during the season half. The second of those came on Brooks’ quick decision to dish to Bacot for a dunk — 6-foot-10 forward feeding 6-10 forward — that put North Carolina ahead 66-50 with the game clock dipping under eight minutes remaining.

“Once you see that ball go in the hoop a lot, and you see them W’s start coming,” Brooks said, “who wouldn’t have a lot of confidence?”

Champagnie finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds. He arrived averaging 19.9 points and 12.4 rebounds per game, and ultimately had to try to manage foul trouble, another of the ways in which the Tar Heels’ size showed up. Champagnie picked up his third foul at the 13:26 mark of the second half, and was hit with his fourth foul with 7:52 left.

Ithiel Horton chipped in 12 points for Pitt, in its third season under coach Jeff Capel. Au’Diese Toney and Xavier Johnson, the Panthers’ complementary scorers to Champagnie, struggled to a combined 5-for-18 from the field and didn’t approach reaching their typical production on the season.

“That was big,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. Brooks credited the defensive efforts turned in by Leaky Black on Toney and Caleb Love on Johnson as key pieces of the winning recipe for the Tar Heels.

The main ingredient emerged as a familiar one — North Carolina’s superior frontcourt strength, powered by Bacot, Brooks, and Day’Ron Sharpe off the bench.

Bacot and Brooks combined on 16-for-21 from the field and blocked four shots. Bacot’s 8-for-10 shooting Tuesday night moved him to 24-for-32 from the field (75%) across the last three games, a sizzling stretch that started with the Tar Heels’ defeats of Wake Forest and North Carolina State last week.

“We should throw it in to those big guys,” Williams said. “I think we did a great job of getting it to them in the second half. They had a difficult time handling our big guys inside, and I think that was the key point in the game.”

Love said “you could see on that first play” North Carolina’s big men could be poised to deliver big things. On the Tar Heels’ opening possession, Love worked a pick and roll with Bacot, who deposited a dunk of Love’s lob pass after losing his defender, Pitt forward Abdoul Karim Coulibaly, during the action of the sequence.

When the Panthers launched a 10-0 burst to pull within 68-63, North Carolina called Bacot’s number as a run stopper. He responded by gaining position deep in the post on the 6-6 Champagnie, then in danger of fouling out, turning and scoring off the glass with his left hand.

The next time down, Love nailed his only 3-pointer of the game, off a pass from Walton and open look near the top of the key. That gave the Tar Heels a 73-65 lead with 2:59 remaining, and helped send them on their way.

“I’ll go back to what I’ve said consistently,” Williams said of his team’s progress, “I think we are getting a little bit better and a little bit better.”


Louisburg outruns Cougars, 98-83

Central Carolina’s Josh Bell takes the ball into the lane as the Cougars played Louisburg on Wednesday night in Sanford. Louisburg (2-0) topped the Cougars (1-2) in their home opener, 98-83. Trevon Bell led the Cougar scoring with 19 points. CCCC’s next home date is Feb. 8 versus Bryant and Stratton.


Sports
Area scores: Crusaders get going in second half to win
  • Updated

B

oys basketball

Grace Christian 80, Thales 67

The Crusaders (13-11, 3-1 Mid-Carolina) pulled away in the second half to win at Thales in Apex Tuesday night. The Crusaders and the Titans were tied 31-31 at halftime.

Sophomore Ma’kyi Butler powered the Crusaders with 27 points as Jesse Mitchell scored 19 points and Freddie Rech and Rarquan Simmons scored 10 each.

Grace Christian plays at Berean Baptist at 6:15 p.m. this evening.

North Moore 65, South Davidson 51

The Mustangs (2-1, 2-0) got a Yadkin Valley victory at South Davidson Tuesday night. North Moore will host North Stanly at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Providence Grove 66, Jordan-Matthews 36

The Patriots routed Jordan-Matthews (4-3, 3-3) in a PAC 7 meeting Tuesday night. Jordan-Matthews will play at T.W. Andrews at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Girls basketball

Lee Christian 82, Crossroads Christian 3

The Lady Falcons (10-4, 6-0) remained unbeaten atop the Mid-Carolina Conference at home Tuesday night.

Lee Christian will play at Grace Christian at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The Lady Falcons won game one of the rivalry 50-35 earlier this month.

Triton 47, Western Harnett 23

The Lady Hawks (5-0, 3-0) gave county rival Western Harnett (4-1, 1-1) its first loss in Tri-County 6 play Tuesday night. Triton and Union Pines are the only two unbeaten teams left in the conference.

Abby Hood scored 17 points and Tristan Ennis scored 14 points to lead Triton.

Triton played South Johnston last night and will play at Union Pines at 6 p.m. Friday. Western Harnett plays at Lee County at 6 p.m. Friday.

Pinecrest 60, Richmond 53

The Lady Patriots (3-3, 2-2) won a Sandhills Athletic game on the road Tuesday.

Brittany Sparrow scored 21 points and Emmie Modlin scored 20 for the Lady Patriots.

Pinecrest will host Purnell Swett at 5 p.m. Friday.

E.E. Smith 59, Overhills 44

E.E. Smith won a Patriot Athletic game at Overhills (1-6, 1-5) Tuesday night. Overhills will play at South View at 6 p.m. Friday.

South Davidson 69, North Moore 32

South Davidson topped visiting North Moore (0-3, 0-2) in the YVC Tuesday night.

Boys soccer

Northwood 2, Cedar Ridge 0

The Chargers (1-0, 1-0) got two goals in the first half and held on for an opening Big Eight win at home Tuesday night. Northwood has a match at Southern Durham at 6 p.m. this evening.

Boys lacrosse

Fuquay-Varina 10, Pinecrest 7

The Bengals won the fourth quarter 4-0 to prevail at Pinecrest, to spoil the Patriots’ season opener Tuesday night.

Weston Thompson led the Patriots with four goals as Gavin Laton scored two goals and Logan Laton scored a goal.

Pinecrest (0-1) will play at South Garner at 7 p.m. Friday.


Sports
Duke snaps 3-game skid, holds off Georgia Tech for 75-68 win
  • Updated

DURHAM — DJ Steward scored 19 points, Jalen Johnson added 18 and Duke snapped a three-game losing streak pulling away from Georgia Tech 75-68 on Tuesday night.

Duke (6-5, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) made 7 of 10 foul shots in the last 79 seconds after Khalid Moore’s layup with 1:40 left pulled Georgia Tech into a tie at 68.

Matthew Hurt scored 17 points and Jordan Goldwire had 11 for Duke.

Jose Alvarado scored 26 points on 10-for-15 shooting for Georgia Tech (7-5, 3-3). Moses Wright added 12 points with 14 rebounds.

The Blue Devils, with six of their next nine games at home, host Clemson on Saturday.


Sports
Sports Calendar
  • Updated

Today

Boys basketball

Grace Christian at Berean Baptist — 6:15 p.m.

Uwharrie Charter at Chatham Central — 7:30 p.m.

Girls basketball

Grace Christian at Berean Baptist — 4:45 p.m.

Uwharrie Charter at Chatham Central — 6 p.m.

Boys soccer

Northwood at Southern Durham — 6 p.m.

Richmond at Pinecrest — 7 p.m.

Swimming

Jordan-Matthews at Randolph-Asheboro — 7 p.m.

College basketball

Men

UNC Asheville at Winthrop — 7 p.m.

Women

N.C. State at Virginia Tech — 4 p.m.

Central Carolina at Denmark Tech — 6 p.m.

Florida St. at Wake Forest — 6 p.m.

North Carolina at Louisville — 7 p.m.

Wofford at UNC Greensboro — 7 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 29

Boys basketball

Southern Lee at Harnett Central — 7 p.m.

Western Harnett at Lee County — 7 p.m.

Lee Christian at Grace Christian — 7 p.m.

Purnell Swett at Pinecrest — 7 p.m.

O’Neal at Burlington Christian — 7:15 p.m.

Overhills at South View — 7:30 p.m.

North Stanly at North Moore — 7:30 p.m.

South Davidson at Chatham Central — 7:30 p.m.

Cedar Ridge at Northwood — 7:30 p.m.

Jordan-Matthews at T.W. Andrews — 7:30 p.m.

Chatham Charter at Southern Wake — 7:30 p.m.

Triton at Union Pines — 8 p.m.

Girls basketball

Purnell Swett at Pinecrest — 5 p.m.

Southern Lee at Harnett Central — 5:30 p.m.

Western Harnett at Lee County — 5:30 p.m.

Lee Christian at Grace Christian — 5:30 p.m.

O’Neal at Burlington Christian — 5:30 p.m.

Overhills at South View — 6 p.m.

North Stanly at North Moore — 6 p.m.

South Davidson at Chatham Central — 6 p.m.

Cedar Ridge at Northwood — 6 p.m.

Jordan-Matthews at T.W. Andrews — 6 p.m.

Chatham Charter at Southern Wake — 6 p.m.

Triton at Union Pines — 6:30 p.m.

Chatham HomeSchool at Faith Christian — 7 p.m.

Boys soccer

Southern Lee at West Johnston — 5:30 p.m.

Pinecrest at Seventy-First — 6 p.m.

Boys lacrosse

Pinecrest at South Garner — 7 p.m.

Chapel Hill at Northwood — 7 p.m.

Girls lacrosse

Terry Sanford at Union Pines — 6 p.m.

College basketball

Men

Charleston Southern at High Point — 6 p.m.

Gardner-Webb at Radford — 6 p.m.

UNC Asheville at Winthrop — 6 p.m.

FIU at Charlotte — 6 p.m.

Appalachian St. at Troy — 7 p.m.

S.C. Upstate at Campbell — 7:30 p.m.

Women

Gardner-Webb at Campbell — 5 p.m.

Troy at Appalachian St. — 5 p.m.

Hampton at High Point — 6 p.m.

Western Carolina at East Tennessee St. — 7 p.m.

Charlotte at FIU — 7 p.m.

Saturday, Jan 30

Boys basketball

Woods Charter at Chatham Charter — 5 p.m.

Girls basketball

Chatham HomeSchool at Durham HomeSchool — 4 p.m.

Swimming

Sandhills Athletic Conference Championship at Smithfield Aquatic Center — 9 a.m.

College basketball

Men

Charleston Southern at High Point — TBA

Clemson at Duke — 12 p.m.

Tulsa at East Carolina — 12 p.m.

Samford at Western Carolina — 1 p.m.

Hofstra at UNC Wilmington — 1 p.m.

St. Bonaventure at Davidson — 2 p.m.

Miami at Wake Forest — 2 p.m.

Elon at Delaware — 2 p.m.

Sandhills at Patrick Henry — 3 p.m.

Gardner-Webb at Radford — 4 p.m.

FIU at Charlotte — 4 p.m.

Appalachian St. at Troy — 5 p.m.

S.C. Upstate at Campbell — 5:30 p.m.

VMI at UNC Greensboro — 7 p.m.

Women

Tulsa at East Carolina — 3:30 p.m.

Delaware at Elon — 1 p.m.

Wofford at UNC Greensboro — 2 p.m.

N.C. A&T at N.C. Central — 2 p.m.

UNC Wilmington at Hofstra — 2 p.m.

Gardner-Webb at Campbell — 3 p.m.

Hampton at High Point — 4 p.m.

Troy at Appalachian St. — 4 p.m.

Charlotte at FIU — 4 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 31

College basketball

Men

Hofstra at UNC Wilmington — 1 p.m.

Elon at Delaware — 2 p.m.

N.C. State at Syracuse — 6 p.m.

Women

Clemson at Wake Forest — 2 p.m.

Delaware at Elon — 1 p.m.

Western Carolina at East Tennessee St. — 2 p.m.

N.C. A&T at N.C. Central — 2 p.m.

Fordham at Davidson — 2 p.m.

UNC Wilmington at Hofstra — 2 p.m.

Patrick Henry at Central Carolina — 3 p.m.

North Carolina at Virginia Tech — 4 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 1

Boys basketball

South Stanly at North Moore — 7:30 p.m.

Girls basketball

Grace Christian at Southside Christian — 4:30 p.m.

Chatham Charter at Lee Christian — 6 p.m.

South Stanly at North Moore — 6 p.m.

Boys soccer

Pine Forest at Overhills — 6 p.m.

Pinecrest at Purnell Swett — 6 p.m.

Randleman at Jordan-Matthews — 6 p.m.

Girls lacrosse

Northwood at Heritage — 6:30 p.m.

Boys basketball

Northwood at East Chapel Hill — 7 p.m.

College basketball

Men

Mercer at UNC Greensboro — TBA

The Citadel at Western Carolina — TBA

Duke at Miami — 7 p.m.

N.C. Central at Howard — 9 p.m.

Women

N.C. State at Louisville — 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 2

Boys basketball

Lee County at Southern Lee — 7 p.m.

South Wake at Grace Christian — 7 p.m.

Community Christian at Lee Christian — 7 p.m.

Union Pines at Western Harnett — 7 p.m.

Harnett Central at Triton — 7 p.m.

Lumberton at Pinecrest — 7 p.m.

Trinity School at O’Neal — 7 p.m.

Cornerstone Charter at Chatham Charter — 7 p.m.

Douglas Byrd at Overhills — 7:30 p.m.

North Moore at Albemarle — 7:30 p.m.

Chatham Central at North Stanly — 7:30 p.m.

Northwood at Southern Durham — 7:30 p.m.

Eastern Randolph at Jordan-Matthews — 7:30 p.m.

Girls basketball

Lumberton at Pinecrest — 5 p.m.

Lee County at Southern Lee — 5:30 p.m.

South Wake at Grace Christian — 5:30 p.m.

Union Pines at Western Harnett — 5:30 p.m.

Harnett Central at Triton — 5:30 p.m.

North Moore at Albemarle — 5:30 p.m.

Trinity School at O’Neal — 5:30 p.m.

Community Christian at Lee Christian — 6 p.m.

Douglas Byrd at Overhills — 6 p.m.

Chatham Central at North Stanly — 6 p.m.

Northwood at Southern Durham — 6 p.m.

Eastern Randolph at Jordan-Matthews — 6 p.m.

Chatham HomeSchool at New Life Camp — 6 p.m.

Boys soccer

Chapel Hill at Northwood — 6:45 p.m.

Girls lacrosse

Union Pines at Jack Britt — 5:30 p.m.

Pinecrest at Terry Sanford — 5:30 p.m.

Boys lacrosse

Pinecrest at Terry Sanford — 7:30 p.m.

College basketball

Men

Wake Forest at Notre Dame — 5 p.m.

North Carolina at Clemson — 7 p.m.

Women

Florida St. at Wake Forest — 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 3

Boys basketball

Triton at Smithfield-Selma — 7 p.m.

Girls basketball

Randleman at Jordan-Matthews — 6 p.m.

Boys soccer

Overhills at Pine Forest — 6 p.m.

Jordan-Matthews at Trinity — 6 p.m.

Boys lacrosse

Carrboro at Northwood — 6 p.m.

Girls lacrosse

Northwood at Chapel Hill — 6:30 p.m.

College basketball

Men

Elon at James Madison — 4 p.m.

Davidson at La Salle — 5 p.m.

Houston at East Carolina — 6 p.m.

Chattanooga at Western Carolina — 7 p.m.

UNC Greensboro at The Citadel — 7 p.m.

Virginia at N.C. State — 9 p.m.

Women

UNC Asheville at Presbyterian — 6 p.m.


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