UNC-Iona: Game Notes

NEW YORK – The North Carolina Tar Heels fell for the third time in five games tonight as Iona College held off UNC for a 65-56 victory in the first round of the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden.

Here are some notes from UNC's third loss in 10 games.

***With the loss, UNC will play in the consolation game Saturday at 3 p.m. against St. John's, which lost to Manhattan.

***Both Manhattan and Iona are members of the metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

***This was the first time UNC started four freshmen in the same game.

***Both teams started four freshmen, making eight of the 10 starters freshmen. In fact, The lone non-freshman in Iona's starting lineup is a junior college transfer, and Carolina's non-freshman starter was sophomore Jackie Manuel.

***Yet, two of Iona's top three scorers tonight were Courtney Fields (senior) and Maceo Wofford (senior).

***UNC's Melvin Scott missed tonight's game because of a one-game suspension for violating unspecified team rules.

***UNC's Jawad Williams also missed the game because of a stomach virus.

***Carolina fell to 2-1 against the Gaels. UNC defeated Iona 74-61 in Dec. 1983, and 110-67 in Nov. 1985. UNC coach Matt Doherty had 15 points, six rebounds, two steals and two assists in the 1983 game.

***Carolina defeated Villanova and Princeton in the 1968 Holiday Festival and lost to St. John's. UNC beat Iona and St. John's to win the 1983 Holiday Festival.

***With the loss, the Tar Heels are now 24-7 in games played in the current Madison Square Garden.

***UNC's losses in the current Madison Square Garden: Dec., 1968, St. John's (72-70); March, 1970, Manhattan (90-85 OT); March, 1973, Notre Dame (78-71); Nov. 1988, Missouri (91-81); Jan. 1992, Notre Dame (88-76); Nov. 1993, UMass (91-86 OT); and tonight.

***UNC defeated Duke, 73-67, at MSG on March 25, 1971, in the postseason NIT. The Tar Heels defeated Georgia Tech, which wasn't yet in the ACC, two days later, 84-66, to win the NIT title.

***This is Carolina's youngest team ever. UNC has just nine players on basketball scholarship. Five are freshmen, three are sophomore and one is a senior. UNC also has a senior who is on Morehead Scholarship and a freshman who is walking on this year, but will be on scholarship next season. UNC wasn't able to offer David Noel a basketball scholarship this year because there reached their limit regarding the 5/8 rule, meaning a school can't sign more than five players in one year and eight over a two year stretch.

***Over the first 49 years of ACC basketball, UNC has averaged eight juniors and seniors its preseason rosters. Prior to this year the fewest number of juniors and seniors on a roster was four, which was in the 1990-91 season when UNC had three senior starters (Rick Fox, King Rice, Pete Chilcut) and junior starter Hubert Davis.

***According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Carolina is the youngest team in the nation.

***UNC started three freshmen in the opening game this season for the first time ever. Tonight's starting lineup: Sophomores Jackie Manuel and Jawad Williams and freshmen McCants, Felton and May.

****Scott and Manuel were the first freshmen to start in backcourt together last year.

***Jawad Williams was the 17th freshman to ever start his first game for UNC last year. That number is now up to 20.

Senior writer Andrew Jones is in his seventh year with Inside Carolina. He hosts a late afternoon radio show on ESPN Radio, WMFD AM630 in Wilmington and can be reached via e-mail at: AndrewJones@AM630.net.

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