CRAWFORD | Berry, boards lead North Carolina past Louisville, 93-76
Louisville fell behind by 19 points in the first half and could never quite get all the way back, with North Carolina making timely threes and dominating the glass for a 93-76 win in the KFC Yum! Center.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The University of Louisville basketball team hung tough through a North Carolina three-point shooting barrage in the first half, scraped back despite being badly beaten on the boards, and pulled within eight points in the closing minutes after trailing by 19 in the first half.
But the difference in this game was Joel Berry. The UNC senior point guard had 18 points in the first half, and with Ray Spalding breaking free for a sure dunk to pull Louisville within six with 2:30 to play, Berry came out of nowhere to block his shot from behind.
UNC got a three from Luke Maye on the other end, and that was that. Berry finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, five assists and had an answer for every Louisville threat.
The result was a 93-76 North Carolina victory in front of a KFC Yum! Center “White Out” crowd of 21,210.
"We just dug ourselves too big of a hole," Louisville interim coach David Padgett said. "It's tough against a team that good with offensive weapons like we have once you get behind like that. . . . We came out and there were some nerves. It was frenetic. . . . And they're probably the best passing team in the country, and they were shooting the lights out."
Maye finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds for North Carolina, which took sole possession of fourth place in the ACC with the win. Louisville fell to 18-9 overall, 8-6 in the ACC with just four games remaining, three of the on the road (at Duke, Virginia Tech and N.C. State), and the lone home game against Virginia.
Louisville got 20 points from Deng Adel and 18 points and 12 rebounds from Spalding, but UNC finished with a 44-32 edge on the glass and outscored Louisville 22-6 on second-chance points.
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