The UNC basketball program dominated early against Notre Dame and pulled out a decisive victory at home on Saturday afternoon.
Caleb Love opened the game by hitting a wide-open 3-pointer.
From there, the UNC basketball program left no doubt as to how this game would end.
Notre Dame Fighting the Irish
North Carolina Tar heels
The Tar Heels led through 34 minutes of game time as they beat Notre Dame to improve to 11-5 on the season. With the win, North Carolina now holds a record in ACC play over .500.
North Carolina was without Pete Nance, who is still dealing with a lower back injury. Hubert Davis opted to start Seth Trimble in his place because the three-guard lineup worked well in the team’s recent win over Wake Forest.
With his ability to mix and match, Davis has gotten very good production from his bench.
After not playing much in the last two games, Puff Johnson hit four of his five shots from the floor as he finished with 11 points in 22 minutes of action.
D’Marco Dunn provided several high-energy minutes as he finished with seven points in 15 minutes of work.
Of course, as good as the bench was in this one, it was the collaborative duo of Armando Bacot and Caleb Love that stole the show.
Bacot recorded his 58th career double-double as he finished with a game-high 21 points and 13 rebounds. After a rough game against Wake Forest, Love came back strong with 18 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
But it got a little worse in the second half as Puff Johnson was fouled hard when he dunked the basketball on a fast break. After initiating a hard foul, Notre Dame’s Cormac Ryan fell on top of Johnson and gently kicked him in the face.
Well, that didn’t go well with Love.
A small scuffle ensued with Love telling Ryan “don’t do this”. The play would go to a monitor and Ryan would be ejected, with Love and Notre Dame freshman Dom Campbell picking up technical fouls.
However, as hard as Notre Dame tried to get back into the game, the Tar Heels just didn’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.
The Tar Heels are riding a two-game winning streak and prepare for a big game against No. 11 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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