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Off the cuff: A lot of times when a team hits a lot of threes early, they can't keep it up. But the fear in this game was had Florida State already done enough by hitting nine of 17 threes to go up 45-31 with 17:20 to go?

The Seminoles did cool off a bit as they hit only two threes over the last 16 minutes of the game. Meanwhile Carolina was cold from the three-point line all afternoon as the Heels were only five of 22.

What Carolina did do is control the pace of the game over the last 15 minutes. And the Heels outrebounded the Noles 39-30 and hit 25 free throws compared to just four by FSU.

Even though Carolina committed fewer personal fouls than Florida State, there was a stretch where Tar Heel fans were ill as a hornet.

Late in the first half there were at least three calls that drew the Carolina faithfuls' ire - and with good reason.

First, Armando Bacot was credited with a basket on a basketball interference call on a Florida State player for getting his hand tangled up in the net. Three minutes of game play went by before the next timeout. During that timeout, officials took away the basket, saying it actually wasn't basket interference.

Excuse me? Bacot had gotten the rebound as the whistle blew, awarding him the basket. So, the officials took away the basket and the Carolina possession as well. That should not be a call that can be changed. If it is changed, the team that got the rebound should be awarded an extra possession. For instance if the possession arrow was to Florida State, it shoulid at the very least be changed to Carolina. But again, it shouldn't be a reviewable play.

If that's reviewable, the two phantom fouls on Cadeau and Bacot over the next couple of minutes should be able to be reviewed.

Another poor call by the officials was initially called correctly but changed after seeing it again on video during a timeout.

On that play, it was ruled to be a shot clock violation when actually a Florida State player touched the ball as it went out of bounds with a second left on the shot clock.

The TV crew was too busy yuckin' it up to discuss any of these issues.

Carolina 78, Florida State 70
UNC rallies from 14 down to beat FSU


(Photo by UNC Sports Information)

North Carolina survived Florida State's top three-point shooting game of the season and used pressure defense to rally from 14 points down in the second half to defeat the Seminoles 78-70 in Chapel Hill. (12/2)

Still down eight midway through the second half, the Tar Heels went on an energy-infused 22-0 run. To start the run, Armando Bacot scored inside and got fired up by a hard foul that knocked his hair down. That old-fashioned three-point play was followed by an RJ Davis three from the the left wing.

Then Davis found a streaking Elliott Cadeau for a layup to tie it at 56-all with about eight minutes to go. Cadeau followed that up with a fastbreak bucket off a smooth crossover dribble and Carolina never trailed again.

"I felt like our energy wasn't there in the first half and coming out in the second half," UNC coach Hubert Davis said. "Then we started to press and that started to get us alive. That energy allowed us to come back...

"We created turnovers that allowed us to attack the basket and convert. And it sped them up. They were out of their offense. They took quick shots and we rebounded and got out in transition."

There were seven lead changes and three ties in the first half but the Seminoles went on an 8-0 run at the end of the half to go up 35-29. The Heels failed to score over the last 3:18. FSU hit seven of 14 threes in the half. The Seminoles had been averaging seven threes a game.

Carolina started the second half like it ended the first half as Florida State extended the lead to 45-31 with a 10-2 run.

That's when Carolina employed the full-court press that changed the trajectory of the game and led to the 22-0 run that ended with a 14-point lead for the Heels at 70-56.

A 9-1 FSU run made the final score respectable but the Heels ended any further drama when Davis drained a long three and hit four straight free throws.

Davis, who hit all eight of his free throw shots, finished with a game-high 27 points to go along with five assists. Bacot had another double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Harrison Ingram was the only other Tar Heel in double figures with 11 points.

Jamir Watkins led Florida State, now 4-3 and 0-1 in the ACC, with 17 points and eight rebounds.

The Tar Heels, now 7-1, play UConn Tuesday at 9 p.m. in the Jimmy V Classic in New York's Madison Square Garden.

Box score


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