So Close, Yet So Familiar: Tigers Fall in Chapel Hill


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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Add Rashad McCants' name to the long list of North Carolina players to torture Clemson in Chapel Hill.


McCants, who sat out more than 10 minutes of the second half after picking up his fourth foul, scored 10 points in the final 6:25 to lead the Tar Heels to a 68-66 victory over Clemson Tuesday night. It was UNC's 49th consecutive victory over Clemson in Chapel Hill without a loss.


"You have a lot of mixed emotions," Clemson head coach Larry Shyatt said afterwards. "Obviously when you get that close and we do a lot of things the way we wanted down the home stretch, it hurts a little more.


"But the focus must go on Virginia now."


Clemson, which fought back from an early 15-point deficit and at times looked poised to take control of the game, leading 49-43 at one juncture midway through the second half.


But the Tar Heels hung tough until McCants returned and eventually regained the lead and held it with under a minute to go.


Clemson had a chance to tie the game inside the final :20, trailing 66-63, but senior point guard Ed Scott's 3-point attempt from the left wing drew nothing but air. The Tar Heels got a runout layup off the miss from Raymond Felton for a 68-63 lead.


Chey Christie's 3-pointer with eight-tenths of a second left provided the final margin.


Clemson perhaps lost a better chance at victory with a poor performance from the free throw line, hitting just 9-of-16 (56 percent).


"I'm very proud of the team, but I would have been proud regardless because I know the preparation that went into practice and how focused this team is," Shyatt said.


McCants finished with 21 points for the Tar Heels (10-5, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), while Felton and Jawad Williams each added 17.


Scott led Clemson (10-2, 0-2) with 17. Chris Hobbs, Sharrod Ford and Tomas Nagys all finished with 10.


"The effort and enthusiasm must continue," Shyatt said. "We're a good team and we've known we're a good team. But we lost to a good team tonight."


Early on it appeared to be nothing more than Chapel Hill business as usual for both teams. Felton hit four early 3-pointers to carry the Tar Heels to a 27-12 lead nearly midway through the first half.


But instead of wilting, the Tigers mounted a charge led by Scott. His seven quick points sparked a 13-2 Clemson run over a span of 2:45, pulling the Tigers within 29-25. Part of the run came with Felton on the bench, the Tar Heel freshman forced to leave the game for approximately seven minutes with a stomach ailment.


"(Felton) gave them a nice cushion, but I really like the way our guys fought back," Shyatt said. "We didn't get hot from the outside, but we took our time and dug in with some offensive rebounding. And we got stops in the last 10 minutes of the first half."


Later, Shawan Robinson's 3-pointer from the left wing tied it at 31-31 with 2:48 left in the half.


The teams traded the lead twice the rest of the way before UNC's Williams hit 1-of-2 free throws to tie it at 38-38 at the break.


VISITORS: Clemson 10-2, 0-2 ACC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
12 Babalola, Olu....... f  0-6    0-3    0-0    1  3  4   3   0  1  2  0  1  26
43 Hobbs, Chris........ f  4-7    0-0    2-5    4  3  7   4  10  0  3  0  0  20
05 Ford, Sharrod....... c  5-6    0-0    0-2    4  7 11   1  10  1  2  2  1  27
10 Scott, Edward....... g  6-17   3-9    2-2    0  1  1   2  17  6  3  0  0  40
14 Christie, Chey...... g  3-10   1-4    0-0    0  4  4   2   7  2  3  0  1  34
01 Betko, Julian.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   3   0  0  1  0  0   8
03 Nagys, Tomas........    3-3    0-0    3-4    2  1  3   2   9  0  0  0  1  15
21 Henderson, Ray......    4-8    0-0    1-1    3  3  6   4   9  1  2  0  0  18
22 Robinson, Shawan....    1-3    1-3    1-2    0  0  0   1   4  1  1  0  0  12
   TEAM................                         2  3  5
   Totals..............   26-60   5-19   9-16  16 26 42  22  66 12 17  2  4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-29 51.7%   2nd Half: 11-31 35.5%   Game: 43.3%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-7  28.6%   2nd Half:  3-12 25.0%   Game: 26.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  6-9  66.7%   2nd Half:  3-7  42.9%   Game: 56.3%    3

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: North Carolina 10-5, 2-1 ACC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
21 Williams, Jawad..... f  8-16   0-2    3-4    0  3  3   2  19  2  1  0  1  33
32 McCants, Rashad..... f  8-13   3-7    1-2    3  1  4   4  20  1  0  0  0  22
41 Sanders, Byron...... c  2-5    0-0    1-2    3  3  6   2   5  1  3  0  2  29
02 Felton, Raymond..... g  4-8    4-6    3-4    0  6  6   3  15  8  4  0  2  36
05 Manuel, Jackie...... g  2-6    0-1    0-0    3  2  5   2   4  2  2  1  1  29
01 Scott, Melvin.......    1-7    0-3    0-0    1  1  2   1   2  0  1  0  0  20
14 Holmes, Jonathan....    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   3
25 Grant, Damion.......    0-2    0-0    1-2    1  2  3   2   1  0  1  1  0  12
34 Noel, David.........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  2  2   1   0  0  1  0  1   7
44 Johnson, Will.......    0-0    0-0    2-3    1  1  2   2   2  0  3  0  0   9
   TEAM................                         1  1  2
   Totals..............   25-58   7-19  11-17  13 22 35  19  68 14 16  2  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-29 48.3%   2nd Half: 11-29 37.9%   Game: 43.1%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-11 36.4%   2nd Half:  3-8  37.5%   Game: 36.8%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  6-8  75.0%   2nd Half:  5-9  55.6%   Game: 64.7%    0

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Officials:
Technical fouls: Clemson-None. North Carolina-None.
Attendance: 17451
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Clemson.......................   38   28  -   66
North Carolina................   38   30  -   68

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