March 21, 2014
Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.) scored a career-high and led all scorers with 36 points. His 36 points matches the most ever scored against North Carolina in an NCAA Tournament game. Cotton added eight assists and five rebounds in the contest.
With the score tied at 77, UNC's James Michael McAdoo was at the line with 3.5 left on the clock. He hit one free throw and missed the second free throw. PC was then quick to foul, as the Tar Heels gathered the rebound. McAdoo again went to the line and hit one. He missed the second free throw but the ball was deflected out of bounds off of Cotton. From there UNC was able to run the clock out en route to their narrow 79-77 victory.
Providence (23-13) was down by as many as nine points in the second half but battled back with an 11-0 run to take a 60-58 lead with 8:20 left in the contest. With the score tied at 60, PC used a 3-point play by sophomore Tyler Harris (Dix Hills, N.Y.) and a 3-pointer by Cotton to lead them to a 66-62 advantage (5:41). Senior Kadeem Batts (Boston, Mass.) scored five straight points to then put PC up by seven (71-64, 4:34). UNC (24-9) quickly responded with 5-0 run to tie the score at 71 (3:01). The score was again tied at 74 with 2:20 remaining in the final half. Junior LaDontae Henton (Lansing, Mich.) hit a free throw and a Cotton followed with a break-away layup to reassert PC with a 77-74 lead (1:21). The Tar Heels again came back, this time with a 3-pointer by Marcus Paige to tie the score at 77. McAdoo then hit free throws to give the Tar Heels the win.
Cotton scored 11 straight points spanning from the 00:55 mark of the first half to the 15:56 spot in the second half. The guard has scored 20 or more points 25 times this season and 30 or more points five times in his career.
Providence entered halftime down by three (39-36). The opening stanza saw six lead changes and two ties. Providence's largest lead was four while UNC's biggest lead was seven. The Friars outshot the Tar Heels 52 percent to 45 percent. Cotton led all scorers with 13 points in the half on 4-of-10 from the floor (4-4 FT). Henton added 11 points and five rebounds. The Friars recorded six blocks in the period with three of them by Harris.
Henton recorded his sixth double-double of the season and fourth in the last six games with 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Harris was the third Friar to reach double figures in scoring, putting up 13 points. Cotton and Henton combined to produce 73 percent of the Friar offense (56 points), 62 percent of their rebounding (16 boards) and 75 percent of their assists (nine total).
For the game, Providence shot 53 percent from the floor (28-of-53) and UNC shot 47 percent (33-of-71).
UNC was led by Paige who tallied 19 points. Four other Tar Heels reached double-figures with McAdoo and Brice Johnson among them, both scoring 16.
Eleven of the Friars' 35 games this season have been decided by four points or less. The Friars have posted a 6-5 mark in those 11 games.
The Friars made their 16th appearance all-time in the NCAA Tournament and their first since 2004.
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