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WATA Evening Sports Report.... (2016-12-08 21:36:29)

Tar Heels Down Davidson, 83-74.....CHAPEL HILL—Justin Jackson buried shot after shot from behind the arc in the best performance of his career for No. 7 North Carolina. Coach Roy Williams didn't have much to feel good about otherwise.

 

Jackson matched his career high with 27 points and hit a career-best seven 3-pointers to help the Tar Heels beat Davidson 83-74 on Wednesday night, though they struggled both to slow down high-scoring Wildcats guard Jack Gibbs and find much of a rhythm with top point guard Joel Berry IIsidelined by a sprained left ankle.

"Well it's been a lot of fun watching this basketball team at certain times this year," Williams said. "It was not fun tonight."

The Tar Heels (9-1) didn't get in any kind of groove offensively, with the 6-foot-8 Jackson largely carrying the offense on a night when they got little production from the front line. He had shot 30 percent from 3-point range through his first two seasons and was up to 35 percent coming in before matching his previous high of four 3s by halftime.

"Confidence and stepping into it — I think that's all it was," Jackson said. "I knew I had to step up more but then whenever I got my shots, I just stepped into it like it was another shot."

But UNC shot just 38 percent, while only Isaiah Hicks (13 points) and reserve Luke Maye (career-high 10 points, all before halftime) reached double figures.

Gibbs — ranked seventh nationally by averaging 23.3 points — finished with 30 points for the Wildcats (5-3), who trailed by 16 midway through the second half before making a late push to get within three in the final 2 minutes.

But Kennedy Meeks answered with two free throws, then Hicks followed with two more after getting a big rebound in traffic with 52 seconds left to help UNC hang on.

"They made some good plays, they got some key rebounds," Gibbs said of the final minutes. "They've got athletes and sometimes it's tough to get those rebounds. Down the stretch, they made the plays and we didn't."

BIG PICTURE

Davidson: Gibbs is the kind of scorer that can scare any opponent when he gets hot, while Peyton Aldridge (22 points) provides his own matchup troubles. And with a veteran coach like Bob McKillop, this is the kind of team that scares big-name teams come tournament time.

"I loved the way they fought," McKillop said.

UNC: The Tar Heels got a glimpse of life without arguably their top player in Berry. Nate Britt got the start and had six assists but missed all eight of his shots, while Seventh Woods and Stilman White(career-high six points) saw plenty of minutes at the point. But the Tar Heels missed Berry's finish-through-contact toughness, leadership and scoring ability.

DEFENSIVE HELP

Gibbs and Aldridge combined to make 17 of 35 shots, with Gibbs hitting five 3-pointers.

"As teammates, we 've got to do a better job of helping off and helping out on players like Gibbs," Meeks said. "Like (Williams) probably said in the press conference, either we're going to be a mediocre team or we're going to be a good team. We've got to decide before it's too late."

CONFETTI?

The game was 5 seconds old when there was a brief stoppage due to falling confetti-like material fluttering to the court from the rafters of the Smith Center. Arena staffers swept it up and the game resumed within a minute or two.

Team spokesman Matt Bowers said at halftime it was believed to be pieces of a padding used to absorb leaks near the ceiling.

UP NEXT

Davidson: The Wildcats get a 10-day break before playing their fifth power-conference opponent this year, facing No. 3 Kansas on Dec. 17 in Kansas City, Missouri.

UNC: The Tar Heels begin a two-game set with Southeastern Conference opponents, first by hosting Tennessee on Sunday before facing No. 6 Kentucky on Dec. 17 in Las Vegas.

 

Dads Winter Caravan Luncheon on Jan. 11

 

Hickory, NC- The Hickory Crawdads have scheduled their 2017 Winter Caravan Luncheon for Wednesday, January 11th at Rock Barn Golf & Spa, with the event scheduled to run from 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm.

To kick off the 25th season of Crawdads baseball, the luncheon will feature a slate of Rangers personnel including manager Jeff Banister, new Crawdads manager Spike Owen, and Major League Field Coordinator Josh Bonifay (all speakers are tentative and subject to change at any time).
 
Banister, entering his third season at the helm, led the Rangers to back-to-back American League West Division Championships and last year's best record in the American League. He was named 2015 American League Manager of the Year.

 

Owen, originally named the Crawdads manager for the 2016 season, spent last year with the Texas Rangers as the interim third base coach. He made his managerial debut with the Class-A Advanced High Desert Mavericks in 2015, where he guided the team to a 78-62 record and a Second Half South Division title in the California League.
 
Bonifay played for the Crawdads from 2000-01 and also served as the 'Dads assistant coach in 2008. The Hickory resident was promoted to Major League Field Coordinator in November.
 
In addition to the featured speakers, the 'Dads will also reveal a new logo to celebrate 25 years of Crawdads baseball in Hickory.
 
"With pitchers and catchers reporting just three weeks after the luncheon and the unveiling of our 25th anniversary logo, this event is the perfect way to prepare for the 2017 season," said Crawdads GM Mark Seaman.  "We're excited to welcome a great group of Rangers, especially someone of Jeff Banister's caliber, to Hickory."
 
Tickets for the Winter Caravan Luncheon are now available for $25. Ticket price includes the main event and a picnic-style buffet. For more information, or to order tickets, call the Crawdads front office at (828) 322-3000 or stop by the 'Dads front office at L.P. Frans Stadium. Tickets may also be ordered online by visiting the 'Dads website at www.hickorycrawdads.com
 


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