Three Things: Carolina 82, BC 70
Carolina bounced back with a 12-point win on the road in the ACC. It wasn't pretty, but it's the result that counts. Here's three quick takeaways.
1. P.J.'s spark and injury
Win or lose, this was going to be the storyline following Carolina's trip to BC. Hairston provided the spark off the Tar Heel bench, with four three-point field goals in less than four game minutes. Hairston contributed 14 points (4-4 from 3 and 2-3 from the free throw line) before leaving the game after a collision with Dexter Strickland with four minutes to go in the first half. He'd shared the ball, too, with three assists, including finding Reggie Bullock and Desmond Hubert on consecutive possessions.
Hairston remained on the floor for several minutes before being diagnosed with a concussion. He did not return to the game.
2. Strickland scoring again
As much as any Tar Heel, it seems that Dexter Strickland's entire game is elevated when he's scoring the basketball. Dexter broke out of a recent slump with 14 points, five assists and a pair of rebounds Tuesday evening. He did a good job directing the Tar Heel attack when Marcus Paige went to the bench as well. Not traditionally a great free throw shooter, Dexter was 6-6 at the line on Tuesday.
3. Simmons' impact continues
It was a simple play, but Jackson Simmons tapped a missed Dexter Strickland shot (a fadeaway jumper from 19 feet late in the shot clock) with 2:14 to play and the Tar Heels holding a 10-point lead. The shot clock reset, and Carolina eventually maintained possession after a held ball. That sequence ended when Simmons found his way under the basket and scored two points on a goaltending call. The tap was a simple play, sure, but a big one, and exemplary of Simmons' impact of late. On the night he displayed a nice shooting touch and the ability to find his way to the rim for offensive rebounds and put-backs. Nothing glamorous, sure, but impactful nonetheless.