The 21st ranked North Carolina Tar Heels welcomed in-state rivals the Pirates of East Carolina into Chapel Hill on Saturday. ECU head coach Jeff Lebo returning to his old routes, was welcomed happily by the Tar Heel fans with a very warm reception before the start of the game.
The game started off with a moment of silence in honor of the victims of yesterday’s shootings in Connecticut.
James Michael McAdoo put down a solid game with 19 points with 9 rebounds to help lead the Heels past the Pirates. 9 of those 19 points came from the free throw line.
PJ Hairston put up big numbers as well off the bench for Carolina with 18 points and 6 rebounds.
For the freshmen it wasn’t a spectacular game. JP Tokoto put up the most numbers with 10 points. Joel James only scored two points the entire game.
Offensively the Tar Heels looked spectacular, but the defense nearly lost the game. With just 30 seconds left in the game the Pirates were just four points shy of upsetting the Tar Heels.
They outplayed North Carolina in the second half scoring 61 points to the Heels’ 51 but it just wasn’t enough to win the game in the end.
Akeem Richmond was the leading scorer for ECU with 17 points coming off of the bench.
Maurice Kemp was the leading scoring starter with just 15 points against Carolina.
The Pirates were definitely the underdog coming into today’s game, but realistically that put up one tough fight and the work Lebo is doing with them is starting to show.
The Tar Heels fly to Texas to play the Longhorns on Wednesday night and the Pirates play host to Gardner-Webb on Tuesday.