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North Carolina topples NC State for third straight win

Jan 21, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA;  North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Terquavion Smith (0) dribbles as North Carolina Tar Heels forward Pete Nance (32) defends in the first half at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Armando Bacot tallied 23 points and 18 rebounds as host North Carolina topped rival North Carolina State 80-69 on Saturday in Chapel Hill.

It’s the third win in a row for UNC (14-6, 6-3 ACC) and its fourth straight over NC State. The Wolfpack have not beaten the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill since 2018.

Bacot moved into first place in UNC history for career double-doubles, notching his 61st to pass Hall of Fame member Billy Cunningham. Bacot shot 8 of 13 from the floor.

RJ Davis had 26 points — shooting 14-for-14 from the foul line — while Caleb Love added 16 for the Heels.

Four players scored in double digits for NC State (15-5, 5-4), with DJ Burns Jr. and Jarkel Joiner leading the way with 18 points apiece. Casey Morsell added 12 points and three boards.

Terquavion Smith had 12 points for the Wolfpack but left the game with 9:45 to play after a collision with UNC’s Leaky Black. Smith laid on the floor for a while and was stretchered off. NC State officials later said he suffered injuries to his neck and right elbow. Black was assessed a Flagrant 2 and ejected from the game.

NC State grabbed the lead in the game initially, jumping out to a 20-12 advantage early in the first half after a 15-2 run. Smith kickstarted that run with a 3-pointer.

UNC responded with a run of its own though and by halftime held a one-point lead. The Heels went on to lead by as much as 13 points in the second half after an 11-4 run.

With Bacot in the middle of the paint, UNC dominated on the glass, taking a 42-27 advantage in rebounding. The Heels outscored the Wolfpack 13-4 in second-chance points and outscored them in the paint 28-22.

UNC shot just 37 percent from the floor and 22.2 percent from 3-point land but made 36-of-39 free throws. NC State attempted just 12 free throws and made all of them.

The loss for the Wolfpack snaps a four-game winning streak.

–Field Level Media