Rutgers led at halftime 36-33. Rutgers was playing its usual aggressive, physical game forcing 12 turnover in the first half. The Knights, despite poor foul shooting, took a lead into the locker room mainly behind the shooting of Ricky Shields (16 points, 2 three pointers). One of the problems that Rutgers had last season was playing poorly on the road. In the first half the Knights showed no effect of the pressure of the cavernous Smith Center. In fact, every time that UNC took a lead, RU answered almost immediately, taking the Tarheel crowd virtually out of the game.
In the second half the Knights quickly opened up a seven point lead but NC came back to take the lead on a furious comeback that sent the Smith Center crowd into a frenzy. Gary Waters refused to take a time out forcing RU to play thru the pressure and RU responded with a couple of Lamizana jumpers that put first put RU back into the lead.
After trading baskets, Herve came alive hitting for 15 points in the first 12 minutes of the second half. He was hitting 2 pointers, 3 pointers, dishing the ball, playing "D" and eventually pushing RU to a 11 point lead with seven minutes to go.
Carolina fought it back to a 4 point deficit, once again bringing the huge Smith Center back into the game, then with some sloppy Rutgers play the Tarheels tied it with two minutes to go.
With thirty seconds to go UNC scored on a short jumper to take the lead and the Knights, RU turned over the ball and was forced to foul. The Tarheels canned both shots to win the game 71-67.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) Rashad McCants scored eight of his 18 points over the final 6:25 and North Carolina rallied for a 71-67 victory over Rutgers on Wednesday night to advance to the semifinals of the Preseason NIT.
RU falls to UNC