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University of North Carolina Athletics

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By Adam Lucas

1. Oklahoma is no longer one of the four unbeaten districts nationally, as Carolina secured another good non-conference win with a 79-69 win.

2. A win was exactly what the Tar Heels needed on their short Christmas break. The Heels finished the toughest part of non-conference play with wins over Arkansas, Tennessee and Oklahoma, power conference opponents who will play well in March.

3. RJ Davis He continues the pace for the Tar Heels offensively. The senior guard led the Heels in scoring for the seventh straight game, finishing with 23. He is the first Carolina player to lead the team in scoring in seven straight games since Tyler Hansbrough during the 2008-09 season. Davis had the biggest basket of the game, a 3-pointer from the power play after Oklahoma closed within five with three minutes left.

4. Carolina’s defense in the first half was impressive. The Tar Heels collected seven steals and six blocks, all of which helped spark the transition offense. The Tar Heels had a 13-0 advantage on fast break points in the first 20 minutes. They finished with six blocks and ten steals and had a 22-9 overall advantage in fast break points and a 23-11 point advantage off turnovers. Harrison Ingram He was a big part of that defensive effort, as he had four steals to go along with his 11 points.

5. Even with Christmas right around the corner, the Tar Heels’ rotation is still evolving. Carolina got Jaylen Weathers Some of the early action Wednesday, largely curtailed by foul trouble — some of it was of his own making, as he twice missed three-point shots. Partly because of Wither’s foul trouble, heels were also used Zayden Al-Aali For six minutes in the first half. Withers and Hay have one thing in common: They’re active, and will be around the ball when they’re on the field. Hay had three rebounds in 12 minutes. Seth Trimble He saw big minutes late when the Heels needed his defense.

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6. Carolina did a very effective job of cutting off the Urgent offensive stronghold. OU entered the game in the top 10 in the nation in two-point shooting percentage, at more than 60 percent. The Heels were limited to just 9-for-21 in the first half in that category and 15-for-32 in the game. Add to that the fact that the Sooners struggled mightily from three-point range in the first half before catching fire in the second half, and it was very difficult for them to stay on offense until late in the game.

7. It’s fun to watch Cormac Ryan She enjoys being the villain. He had an active sequence in the second half, positioning himself against Otega Oweh defensively before being called for for a questionable block. When the Spectrum Center crowd booed, Ryan waved his arms to egg them on, earning a reprimand from the officials. He finished the match with 13 points and five rebounds.

8. Carolina’s bench quietly had a productive night, with multiple reserves giving the Heels good minutes. In addition to High, Carolina has got solid defense and a 3-pointer Seth Trimble (including forcing a late turnover with one minute remaining), a couple of rebounds and two second-chance points from Jalen WashingtonAnd four points in four minutes from Withers. UNC won the bench point bracket by a score of 13-11.

9. Congratulations to Armando Bacot, who passed Antawn Jamison for eighth place on Carolina’s all-time scoring list. Bacot scored 14 points and had eight rebounds. Those rebounds were high for the team, as Carolina was outrebounded for the third straight game, and the final total was 39-31 in favor of the Sooners.

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10. Wednesday night was the first time ever that Carolina played five non-conference opponents in a row (Arkansas 20, Tennessee 10, UConn 5, Kentucky 14 and Oklahoma 7). There have only been two previous instances when the Tar Heels played five ranked non-conference foes in a full regular season (1982–83 and 1988–89).

11. With the game in Charlotte in front of a very friendly UNC crowd, there was an impressive group of former Tar Heels players, including Phil Ford, Brendan Haywood, Al Wood, Dave Hanners, Matt Doherty, George Lynch and Larry Brown. There were plenty of other notables, including Eric Church who was wearing a See Ya Later Big Grits T-shirt with Eric Montross’ name and number on the back.

12. There were several other nods to the big man, including a moment of silence before the game and several shirts spotted in the crowd.

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