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Off the cuff: Most Caroina players stunk it up at Indiana. That's just a fact. Was it the hostile environment? A fired up Hoosiers team? It was all of that and more.

Especially early, Coach Williams hit the nail on the head when he said, "They challenged us and we backed up."

While Berry had a bad game, particularly shooting, three others really struggled.

Luke Maye, back after missing a few games with an injury, did not look like a Division I basketball player. He missed an open layup, threw up a three that missed everything and generally didn't look as if he could stay up on defense.

Isaiah Hicks, who is relied on more than Maye, shot the ball only four times in the game and took no shots in the first half. He also turned the ball over three times.

Finally, Nate Britt drew a start and didn't take advantage. He missed badly twice in the first two minutes when Indiana raced out to an 8-2 lead. He only hit three of nine shots for the game including just one of four from beyond the arc. Usually reliable to steady the team off the bench, he didn't do much to help - particularly when Berry was out with foul trouble.

There was plenty of blame to go around but this didn't look like the same team that won in Maui.

On a positive note, Carolina didn't quit and fought back to within four points with five minutes to go.

Berry said the Heels just got too far behind. "We missed a lot of free throws (13 of 22) and easy shots (39 percent from the floor) and didn't get stops defensively."

Despite the loss, the Atlantic Coast Conference won the ACC/Big 10 Challenge nine games to five.

By the way, that Thomas Bryant of Indiana seems to be an overzealous hot dog who celebrates every little thing to an extreme. I have a feeling the Tar Heels would like to meet Indiana again. Considering that Carolina won the last 34 minutes of the game, I think the Heels would beat that team eight out of 10 times. Unfortunately, they don't get to play more than once unless it's in the NCAA Tournament.


Indiana 76, Tar Heels 67
UNC falls for first time after slow start

An aggressive Indiana team, fueled by an enthusiastic home crowd, got off to a quick start and North Carolina could never fully recover as the Tar Heels fell for the first time this season, 76-67. (11/30)

After six minutes, a cold Carolina team trailed by 10 points and after nine minutes the Heels trailed by 17.

"One team played well from the get-go and it wasn't us," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "They were just more aggressive than we were... They challenged us and we backed up."

The Tar Heels missed nine of their first 11 shots, during which time UNC's top scorer on the season Joel Berry picked up two early fouls.

Berry never recovered as he hit just three of 12 shots. The Tar Heels recovered enough to cut it to four in the second half.

"They wanted it more and fought harder," Berry said. "We found ourselves in a hole and we never could dig out of it."

Trailing 41-29 at the half, the Tar Heels cut the margin to eight five times in the first 10 minutes of the second half but couldn't cut into the lead further until time was running down.

A 9-1 run late closed the gap to four with 4:51 left after Berry hit a runner high off the glass. But Carolina came up empty two straight times down the court and Indiana managed to increase the lead back up to 14 before settling for a nine-point victory.

Considering that Carolina lost by nine and trailed by 10 in the first six minutes, the game was lost early.

The Tar Heels seemed rattled early and took ill-advised shots quickly in their possessions.

For the first time this season, Carolina shot free throws poorly - just 59 percent for the game but it was worst than that. In the first half, the Tar Heels missed the front end of one-and-one situations three times and missed twice on a shooting foul.

"At one point we had the possibility of getting 10 points from the foul line and we got one point," Coach Williams said adding that the Tar Heels had gone 12 for 12 during a similar stretch in Maui.

For much of the game Justin Jackson was the only offense for the Heels as he scored 21 points. Kennedy Meeks was the only other Carolina player in double figures with 10. Meanwhile Indiana had five players in double figures.

No. 13 Indiana improves to 5-1 while No. 3 North Carolina falls to 7-1.

Tar Heels return to Chapel Hill to host Radford Sunday at 2 p.m.

Box Score

Brandon Robinson against Indiana.

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