Upset puts UNC back on its Heels

Louisville con­trols boards, rolls in bounce-back rout

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL -

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Louisville went from suf­fer­ing a con­fi­dence-jar­ring loss against a long-strug­gling At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence pro­gram to hand­ing Roy Wil­liams his worst home loss in 16 sea­sons with North Carolina.

Tough to ex­plain? Even the Hall of Famer had a hard time with that.

“We never re­ally got into the game,” Wil­liams said af­ter Satur­day’s 83-62 de­feat to the Car­di­nals. “I’d like to give you a bril­liant an­swer as to why, but I can’t give you that bril­liant an­swer.”

It was as mys­ti­fy­ing a per­for­mance from No. 12 UNC — which had started league play with two road wins — as it was a strong ef­fort from Louisville fol­low­ing Wed­nes­day’s over­time loss to Pitts­burgh.

First-year coach Chris Mack said there was “some soul search­ing” af­ter that set­back, which snapped Pitt’s 23game los­ing streak in ACC reg­u­lar-sea­son games. The Pan­thers had lost by 25 points at home to the Tar Heels a few days ear­lier.

Louisville (11-5, 2-1) re­sponded by strolling into Chapel Hill, jump­ing on UNC early and turn­ing a 43-34 half­time lead into an un­ex­pected rout.

“I’ve been around the game enough to know you can be hum­bled on any given night and then erase a bit­ter feel­ing a few nights later,” Mack said. “I don’t know how foot­ball coaches do it, they get one game a week.”

Con­necti­cut trans­fer Steven Enoch had sea­son highs of 17 points and 11 re­bounds to lead the Car­di­nals, caus­ing all kinds of matchup prob­lems with his 6-foot-11 frame and strength to post up deep in the paint. Dwayne Sut­ton added 17 points, 10 re­bounds and seven as­sists to flirt with a triple dou­ble, help­ing the Car­di­nals shoot 52 per­cent while hit­ting 11 3-point­ers.

The Car­di­nals con­trolled the glass (40-31) against one of the na­tion’s best re­bound­ing teams, keep­ing the Tar Heels from get­ting loose in tran­si­tion (4 fast break points) with solid de­fense.

“An­gry should be the motto for this team — play­ing an­gry and ag­gres­sive,” Enoch said. “That’s how it’s al­ways been for Louisville bas­ket­ball.”

Kenny Wil­liams scored 12 points for the Tar Heels (12-4, 2-1), who spent most of Satur­day look­ing like a team search­ing for some­thing — any­thing — to build around. They shot 35 per­cent, in­clud­ing 3 of 22 on 3-point­ers, and com­mit­ted 11 sec­ond-half turnovers.


Louisville’s Steven Enoch reg­is­tered sea­son highs of 17 points and 11 re­bounds in the Car­di­nals’ road vic­tory over North Carolina.

North Carolina coach Roy Wil­liams found his team’s 83-62 loss to Louisville hard to ex­plain. “I’d like to give you a bril­liant an­swer as to why, but I can’t give you that bril­liant an­swer,” Wil­liams said.

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