Wofford pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the college basketball season with a road upset of No. 5 North Carolina on Wednesday night. The Terriers earned their first win ever over a top-25 team with the 79-75 non-conference in Chapel Hill.
North Carolina trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half but came roaring back to make it a one-possession game with under a minute left.
High-scoring guard Fletcher Magee lifted Wofford with 27 points, creating a bunch of scoring opportunities from the perimeter in the second half. Cameron Jackson also finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and six blocks, providing a big lift on both ends of the floor for the Terriers. Trevor Stumpe made the game-icing free throws with 15.2 seconds left as he finished with nine points.
North Carolina forward Luke Maye was cold in the first half but made some plays down the stretch to keep the Tar Heels in the game. Maye finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Tar Heels. Although Maye picked up his play, he missed a game-tying three-pointer with under 30 seconds left and only finished 4-for-16 from the floor, struggling at times on both ends. Joel Berry paced the North Carolina offense with 23 points while Garrison Brooks chipped in 10 points.
In his regular season debut with the Tar Heels, graduate transfer wing Cameron Johnson finished with 10 points off the bench, as he returned from injury.
This is North Carolina’s first non-conference home loss since they fell to Iowa on Dec. 3, 2014. The Tar Heels were also behind in the second half against Tennessee last weekend but still managed to pull off a huge road win. North Carolina was the CBT Team of the Week to begin this week.
But the Tar Heels just didn’t have enough late magic in this one to outlast a Wofford team that got hot for stretches in the second half. With turnovers and poor perimeter shooting also being an issue, it was too little, too late for North Carolina. Finishing only 7-for-25 from three-point range and with 14 turnovers — many of them unforced, including five from senior Theo Pinson — the North Carolina offense looked disjointed at times.
I’m not sure if the Tar Heels overlooked Wofford or if the energy and focus was down since it is the holiday season but this was a surprisingly lackluster effort. In a game where Johnson returned to the rotation and should have given the team a lift, North Carolina came out flat.
Wofford played a great game and deserved to win, but they also only shot 43 percent from the field and 31 percent (7-for-22) from three-point range. But the Terriers limited turnovers (10) and got enough open looks to make North Carolina pay on Wednesday. It seemed like every time North Carolina crept to within one possession, Wofford had an answer at the other end.
After struggling to beat high-major opponents early in the season, Wofford has now earned ACC wins over Georgia Tech and North Carolina in the last few games, as they’ll be a big factor in the Southern.