Tar Heels stun Kentucky
Lexington, KY (Sports Network) – Reyshawn Terry scored 25 points and David
Noel added 15 with nine rebounds, as North Carolina pulled off an 83-79 upset
of 10th-ranked Kentucky at Rupp Arena.
Wes Miller chipped in 12 points and Bobby Frasor scored all of his nine in the
second half for the Tar Heels (4-1), who were playing on the road for the
first time this season.
North Carolina was coming off a 68-64 home loss to No. 12 Illinois on Tuesday
in a rematch of last year’s national championship game, but these Tar Heels do
not remotely resemble the national champs from the spring with the top seven
scorers from that team gone.
They gave Kentucky all it could handle, however, and beat the Wildcats for the
second straight year.
“We feel ecstatic right now, so much better than how we felt after Tuesday’s
loss to Illinois,” said North Carolina head coach Roy Williams. “I think we
played exceptionally hard on Tuesday night, but we just didn’t make the plays
at crunch time. I think we did make those plays today.”
Rajon Rondo scored 20 points to lead Kentucky (5-2), which had won three
straight since a loss to Iowa in the Guardians Classic. Ravi Moss added 17
points and Ramel Bradley contributed 12 in defeat.
“They outplayed us and I thought they outworked us in a lot of areas,”
Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith said of Carolina. “They hit some clutch threes
and shot the ball extremely well. Defensively, we got caught up on some
screens in the first half and really dug ourselves into a hole.”
North Carolina carried a 12-point lead into the second half, but Kentucky
scored the first seven points after the intermission as part of a 12-2 run. A
three-pointer by Rekalin Sims pulled the Wildcats within 46-44 with just under
16 minutes remaining.
The Tar Heels, though, answered with a 13-4 spurt to regain control. Frasor
hit a three-pointer to highlight the burst and a bucket by Marcus Ginyard made
it a 59-48 game with 12 1/2 minutes to play.
The Carolina lead reached 13 at 69-56 on a tip-in by Terry, but Kentucky again
An 8-0 run a few minutes later, keyed by five from Moss, pulled the Wildcats
within 71-66 with 4:22 left.
Ginyard responded with a jumper in the lane and Noel drained a three-pointer
from the top of the key with just three minutes remaining to again give the
Tar Heels a double-digit edge at 76-66.
Again Kentucky pulled within five with 31 seconds remaining, but North
Carolina hit enough free throws down the stretch.
The Tar Heels finished 21-of-28 from the line, keyed by a 9-of-10 effort from
Kentucky shot 50.9 percent and held North Carolina to 43.3 percent from the
floor, but the Tar Heels held a 37-30 advantage on the boards and had 15
“I think our offensive rebounding was important to us in the first half,”
Williams added. “When we did miss a shot, Noel or somebody else got the
offensive rebound and put it back in the basket. It was a hard-fought win.”
The Wildcats led 16-10 just seven minutes into the game, but North Carolina
turned it around with a 15-3 run.
Danny Green started it with a pair of free throws and hit a three-pointer with
10:47 left in the half to give the Tar Heels a 20-18 lead. Miller’s shot from
beyond the arc just over two minutes later put North Carolina ahead 25-19.
The Wildcats got only as close as four in the next couple of minutes and
trailed 44-32 at the break.
“We put ourselves in a big hole, but we bounced back in the second half,” said
Sims. “We just couldn’t get over the hump to get back on top.”
North Carolina leads the all-time series 18-10…Kentucky and North Carolina
are the two winningest programs in college basketball…Kentucky has now held
72 of its last 73 opponents, including 30 straight, below 50 percent shooting.