State can't believe it's Butter

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina State pulled out all the stops against North Carolina in a game that was the Wolfpack’s one final hope of grabbing a signature regular season win.

The athletic department honored the 1988-89 N.C. State team that featured Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta before the tip. After that, they handed out balloons for students to hold behind the goals during free throws. In the first media timeout, Tom O’Brien and members of the football team that have beaten UNC each of the past five years were recognized.

All that was missing was a Wolfpack victory.

North Carolina went wire-to-wire against its Raleigh foes, enduring a close first-half run before opening the game midway through the second half in the Tar Heels’86-74 win on Tuesday.

“We were concerned and we knew the crowd would really be fired up, so I said the best way to not worry about the crowd is to play well,” UNC head coach Roy Williams said. “And let’s try to play great tonight, and you’ll be able to hear what I’m yelling at you and talk on the court.”

The No. 7 Tar Heels (24-4, 11-2 ACC) jumped out to a 19-5 after just more than five minutes had ticked off the clock, dousing water on the raging fire that was Wolfpack fans in the RBC Center.

It definitely allows you to think better and have peace of mind,” said Harrison Barnes of quieting the crowd early. In games where we haven’t gotten off to a good start —UNLV and Kentucky — you can’t think, people start fumbling the basketball and leads them to another run.

“I mean I knew they were amped to play us, we knew they wanted the worse things to happen to us on the court. We just kind of embraced that enemy look and just had to go out there and put down the wolves.”

Midway through the first half, the Tar Heels pushed their lead to 11. Then, the Wolfpack (18-10, 7-6), led by sophomore forward C.J. Leslie, would go on an 11-0 run to tie the game at 30-all. But the home team could never grab the lead, going into halftime down 46-41.

In the second half, North Carolina continued to knock down its newly rediscovered 3-pointers as they pulled away from State. UNC finished the night going 10-for-19 from deep, the most since the Jan. 29 Georgia Tech game.

The win was UNC’s 12th straight against the Wolfpack and 18th out of 19. And the No. 7 Tar Heels have Kendall Marshall to thank for continuing the streak.

The sophomore guard entered the game averaging 6.6 points per game— good for sixth on the team— and an ACC-leading 9.7 assists per game. He finished the night with a team- and career-high 22 points on 7-of-8 shooting (4-for-5 from 3-point range), 13 assists and zero turnovers.

“They played him like Rondo and he scored like D-Rose,” Barnes said simply.

When the Wolfpack would switch to its zone defense to focus more on shooters like Barnes and Reggie Bullock (who combined for half of UNC’s made 3-pointers), Marshall’s offensive prowess was able to take over. Williams said other teams have done the same to Marshall, but he didn’t make any of them pay like he did the Wolfpack.

“That’s what he can do for us,” junior forward John Henson said. “I’m not surprised but I thought it was coming because people are looking for him to pass so much, so I think things just open up for him.”

Against Clemson, Marshall turned in a 13 assist-three turnover performance in the Smith Center that had Williams saying he’d take that any day. While the stat sheet reads “Marshall: 0 TOs,” both he and his coach agreed he should have been credited with at least two turnovers that went through the hands of the intended target.

“He asked me after the game how many turnovers, I guess I had two or three,” Marshall admitted. “I guess they gave it to the catcher, so I’m not that mad.”

Better them than Butter.

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  • My only regret on this board is that I have but 1 upvote to give for this brilliantly titled article....clap


    Barnes + Marshall post game:

  • LOL

    Great headline.

    This post was edited by JCTarheel82 2 years ago

  • *Kendall Marshall scored a career-high 22 points and had 13 assists and zero turnovers. He made a career-high seven field goals (previous best was five) in eight attempts and hit a career-high four three-pointers (previous best was two) in five attempts.
    *This was the 36th game in UNC history that a player had 13 or more assists but only the fifth time that the same Tar Heel scored at least 20 points – and it is the only time a player scored at least 20 points, had at least 13 assists and committed zero turnovers.

    20 points, 13 assist-games in UNC history:
    Phil Ford – 24 points, 14 assists, 5 turnovers vs. NC State, 2/23/77
    Kendall Marshall – 22 points, 13 assists, 0 turnovers vs. NC State, 2/21/12
    King Rice – 22 points, 13 assists, 2 turnovers vs. Kentucky, 12/27/89
    Shammond Williams – 21 points, 13 assists, 4 turnovers vs. Richmond, 11/19/97
    Jeff McInnis – 20 points, 13 assists, 3 turnovers vs. Florida State, 1/25/95

    *Marshall’s 13 assists give him 505 for his two-year career, 10th best in UNC history. He passed Steve Hale for 10th place this evening.
    *Marshall reached 500 assists in his 65th game, the second-fewest games in ACC history. NC State’s Chris Corchiani reached 500 in his 63rd game. The previous second-fastest was Duke’s Bobby Hurley, who hit 500 in his 66th. Ed Cota previously held the UNCmark, reaching 500 assists in his 70th game.
    *Marshall is now the only player in ACC history with 300 assists to have an assist-error ratio of at least 3 to 1. Marshall has 505 assists and 168 turnovers, a ratio of 3.01 to 1. He passed NC State’s Sidney Lowe for the best ratio in ACC history – Lowe’s was 2.94.
    *The 13 assists were the most in Marshall’s career without a turnover. His previous best was nine assists and no turnovers against Virginia Tech last season.
    *Marshall’s assist-error ratio for this season is now 3.62 to 1 (275 assists, 76 turnovers), the best in ACC history.
    *Marshall has 275 assists, second-most in UNC single-season history (record is 284 by Ed Cota in 1997-98).
    *Marshall is averaging 7.77 assists per game in his career (505 assists in 65 games), the second-best career average in ACC history.
    *Marshall is averaging 9.82 assists this season, the highest average in ACC history.
    *Marshall’s 13 assists give him 12 double-figure assist games this season, tying Ed Cota (1997-98) for the most in one season in UNC history. Marshall now has 18 double-figure assist games in his career, tying RaymondFelton for the second-most in UNC history (Cota had 32).
    *Carolina has beaten NC State 12 consecutive times, UNC’s longest ever streak against the Wolfpack. The Tar Heels have won 35 of the last 43 meetings with the Pack.
    *Roy Williams is 18-1 against NC State as head coach of the Tar Heels and 23-1 all-time against the Pack, including five wins at Kansas.
    *The Tar Heels are 5-1 in ACC road games this year, marking the 35th winning record on the road in 59 ACC seasons.
    *Roy Williams’ UNC teams are 46-24 on the road in ACC play in nine seasons, a winning percentage of .657 that is second-best in ACC history (behind Duke’s Vic Bubas, .667).
    *Carolina’s five starters all scored in double figures for the first time this season.
    *Harrison Barnes had 20 points, his 12th 20-point game this season and his fourth 20-point performance in his last five games.
    *The Tar Heels made 10 of 19 from three-point range, shooting 52.6 percent from beyond the arc. The 10 three-pointers are the most since in seven games since UNC made 10 of 16 against Georgia Tech on Jan. 29. After shooting 7 of 34 from three-point range against Duke, Virginia and Miami, Carolina is 16 of 33 in the last two contests against Clemson and NC State.
    *Reggie Bullock had 11 points (his third straight game in double figures) and hit three three-pointers. Bullock is 8 of 16 from three-point range in the last three games.
    *Carolina shot 54.5 percent from the floor in the second half and 50.9 percent from the floor for the game. This was the first time UNC shot 50 percent for the game since the Georgia Tech game on Jan. 29th.
    *The Tar Heels committed only nine turnovers, the fifth time in the last seven games UNC has committed fewer than 10 turnovers.
    *Carolina scored just eight second-chance points (thanks in part to better shooting) its fewest since scoring seven against Long Beach State on Dec. 10th.
    *John Henson had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his ACC-leading 14th double-double this season (and 33rd career).

  • That headline just made my day!

    And thanks for all the stats Jon. I can only imagine how many more assists Kendall would have if he had been inserted sooner into the starting lineup last year.

  • And for the record, the headline was all JJ's idea. I immediately thought it was brilliant and he wouldn't have been able to talk me out of another one if he wanted to. Not that he tried. cheers

    Best pic of the night? The one I overlooked until this morning when JJ brought it to my attention. Brilliant timing considering Marshall's nickname.

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