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Off the cuff: Harrison Ingram had a dreadful shooting night at Pittsburgh but he was intrical to the win. He didn't even score until the last six minutes but he controlled the boards with 15 rebounds.

Just two of 14 from the field, he missed a number of short shots that normally go down. Can't say he didn't sweat it because he sweated so much that his uniform was a darker blue than the other Tar Heels' uniforms.

But he was disciplined on the defensive end and he came up with five offensive rebounds and three assists.

Despite it being a frustrating game for him and the Tar Heels offense in general (the Tar Heels didn't score until the 13:37 mark of the first half), Coach Davis said "this was one of the best wins. It's a happy lockerroom and I'm happy for this team and this program."

Sounds like some relief after losing to Pitt three straight times in emotional games.

Carolina's defense handled Pitt's top three-point guy Blake Hinson, who was just two of 11 from beyond the arc.

The Ted Valentine-led officiating crew had a rough night as they made several suspect calls and had a hard time controlling a physical game.

Even worse than the officiating was the TV coverage. The camera work was the worst of any Carolina game this season and Corey Alexander's "paragraph when a brisk sentence would do" color commentary was onerous.

You can turn down the volume but the camera work was horrendous. The camera was not nearly zoomed in enough on the action - way too wide an angle during play and especially on free throws. There were strange cuts from one camera to another while action was going on.

When they did show close ups of people it was at inopportune times or they lingered on faces way too long. Very frustrating. I'm thinking that the regular crew is still on holiday break and a backup crew was used. I certainly hope that explains it.

Carolina 70, Pittsburgh 57
Tar Heels grind out a win at Pittsburgh

(Photo by UNC Sports Information)

Nothing came easy for a North Carolina team that missed its first 10 shots of the game but the Tar Heels opened up a close game at the end, grinding out a 70-57 victory at Pittsburgh. (1/2)

Carolina had lost three straight to Pitt and that fact had to be on Tar Heel fans' minds when the Panthers got out to a 14-7 lead. But the Heels went on an 8-0 run to take their first lead of the game at 15-14 when Cormac Ryan hit a long two on an inbounds pass.

The game went back and forth with RJ Davis hitting a three at the first half buzzer to give UNC a 31-28 lead at the break.

After Davis drilled another three in the first minute of the second half, the Heels took a six-point lead. Pittsburgh, which shot only 31 percent from the floor, never got closer than four points the rest of the way.

But Carolina couldn't pull away either as the Heels led just 51-46 with eight minutes to play in the game. A Jae'Lyn Withers left-handed dunk follow and a Harrison Ingram driving lay in got the Tar Heels back up by double figures at 57-47 with less than six minutes to go.

Pitt scored four straight before Ingram, who had a woeful shooting night, connected on a three from the right wing, and Seth Trimble passed to Armando Bacot for a basket to make things more comfortable for Carolina at 62-51 with 3:41 to play.

It never got closer than 10 the rest of the way as Carolina got up by as many as 14 points after a fastbreak dunk by Bacot.

Carolina, which shot just 37 percent, relied on its defense to win the game against a physical Pittburgh squad. "The guys fought hard," UNC coach Hubert Davis said. "Our guys outbounded Pitt and they are the best rebounding team in our conference."

The Tar Heels had a 51-41 edge on the boards to help offset the slow start and poor shooting. "Defense keeps you in games when shots aren't going in," Coach Davis said.

Bacot led Carolina with 16 points and 10 rebounds while Davis, who was just six of 16, added 15. Ryan and Trimble each added 10 points.

Carlton Carrington led the Panthers with 20 points as Pittsburgh falls to 9-5 and 0-3 in the ACC.

The Tar Heels, now 10-3 overall and 2-0 in the ACC, travel to Clemson Saturday for a noon tipoff.

Box score

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