Andrew Platek wins match against Miami


Andrew Platek sets up the winning shot against Miami. (Photo: Jim Hawkins / Inside Carolina)

CORAL GABLES, Fla .– Andrew Platek hit a basic driving bucket with 3.6 seconds left to bring North Carolina to a 67-65 win over Miami at the Watsco Center on Tuesday.

UNC recovered from a double-digit deficit for the fourth time this season, ending the game in a 17-6 inning. This is the second game in a row that a Tar Heel veteran made the game the winner in the dying seconds after Leaky Black made a layup with 9.1 seconds left to hold Notre Dame, 66-65, Saturday.

Black arguably capped the best game of his Tar Heel career with a 3 point with 1:42 remaining to give UNC a 61-60 lead. The junior winger finished with a career-high 16 points on 6 of 9 shots (4 of 4 3FG) to accompany nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.

The Tar Heels (7-4, 2-2 ACC) earned their first road victory this season despite a tougher-than-expected test by a Hurricanes team missing four of their best players, including the first-team guard All-ACC preseason Chris Lykes. Miami led 53-43 with 12:03 to go. At that point, UNC had more turnovers (14) and fouls (16) than field goals (13).

The Tar Heels shot 34.4% from the ground, marking the second straight game in which they shot below 35%, while keeping the Hurricanes at 34.9%. UNC passed their opponents, 45-39, to hold a 12-4 second-chance points advantage, which offset Miami’s 32-24 point advantage in the paint. The Hurricanes made 20 UNC turnovers in 19 points.

Day’Ron Sharpe had a double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

The game of the game

Walton continues its emergence
Kerwin Walton once again provided UNC with a much needed perimeter score on Tuesday, totaling 13 points on 4 of 8 shots (3 of 7 3FG). The freshman goaltender has now made at least three 3-pointers in four of his last five games.

Walton is shooting 59.9% from a distance of 3 points since winning Kentucky (13 of 22).

Misfortune shot
Even with Miami missing its main scoring options, the Hurricanes have been aided by UNC scoring issues. After taking a 14-8 lead early on, the Tar Heels went more than seven minutes without a basket, missing 11 consecutive shots as Miami took a five-point lead with a 13-2 run.

That streak coincided with a lineup that included Garrison Brooks, Walker Kessler, Puff Johnson and Caleb Love, who missed all nine of their field goal attempts in the first half.

UNC missed 11 of 13 field goals at the end of the second half, but Miami missed 15 of 17 in the same span as the visiting team were able to reduce their deficit despite the poor shot.

3s over 2s
It wasn’t too long ago that UNC’s main offensive weakness was its three-point shooting, but it actually seems quite a long time ago. The Tar Heels shot 29.2% on two points against Miami, compared to 45% on three (9 of 20).

In their last two games, the Tar Heels are shooting 39.7% from three and 32.2% from two.

State of notes
Tuesday marked the first time UNC has won back-to-back games by two points or less since the 2017 NCAA tournament victories over Kentucky (75-73) and Oregon (77-76).

UNC welcomes Clemson to the Smith Center on Saturday for a 7 p.m. tip (ESPN). The 19th-ranked Tigers proved to be one of the surprises of the 2020-2021 basketball season, winning nine of their first 10 games. Brad Brownell’s side dominated NC State, 74-70, in overtime on Tuesday to win their fourth straight game.


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