CLEMSON, S.C., Sporting Alert — Joel Berry II scored 23 of his career-high 31 points in the second half and overtime and No. 14 North Carolina survived to beat Clemson 89-86 in ACC play on Tuesday night.
Berry II Leads The Way
Berry shot 12 for 19 from the field overall and made seven 3-pointers for the Tar Heels (13-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have now won 19 of the last 20 meetings against the Tigers.
The junior guard who played every second of the second half, also had five rebounds, three assists and two steals in the win.
“I was very disappointed with my shooting the other night,” said Berry. “I just went back and put up a lot of shots.
“I know my team depends on me and I want to be a big-time player to help us win.”
“I kept asking Joel if he was all right,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. “It’s been a long time since I had someone play 41 minutes.”
Justin Jackson added 18 points and five rebounds and Kennedy Meeks, who made a key basket with 1:12 left in overtime, finished with a double-double with 14 points and 16 boards for North Carolina, which rebounded from the 75-63 defeat to Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Kenny Williams chipped in with 11 points for the Tar Heels, who avoid making a 0-2 start in ACC play this season.
Jaron Blossomgame led Clemson (11-3, 1-1) with 24 points on 9 of 14 shooting to go along with seven rebounds.
[epq-quote align=”align-left”]Roy Williams was clearly apologizing to Brad Brownell in handshake line after Brownell was extremely upset about something. — Jeff Goodman @GoodmanESPN[/epq-quote]Avry Holmes added 20 points, Marcquise Reed finished with 17 points and Shelton Mitchell supported with 13 points in the defeat for the Tigers (11-3), who had a nine-game winning streak snapped.
Forcing Overtime Play
North Carolina led 75-67 with less than 4 minutes remaining but Clemson closed the half with a 10-2 run to send the game into overtime after Reed made the tying 3-pointer with 29 seconds left.
Berry II had a chance to win the game for the Tar Heels in regulation, but couldn’t finish on a layup attempt.
[epq-quote align=”align-left”]Told by multiple sources that Brad Brownell was upset about something Kennedy Meeks was saying to Clemson bench at end of game. Brownell was heated at Roy Williams in handshake line. Williams was apologizing to Brownell. — Jeff Goodman @GoodmanESPN[/epq-quote]
North Carolina outscored Clemson 12-9 in overtime to seal the win.
Meanwhile, Clemson coach Brad Brownel was clearly upset about something that happened during the game and he was very heated during a postgame handshake with North Carolina coach Roy Williams, who kept saying “I am sorry. I am sorry.”
ESPN Insider Jeff Goodman reported that Brownell was upset about something Meeks had said to “Clemson bench at end of game.”
Roy Williams Kept Apologizing to Brownell
North Carolina returns home on Saturday for its ACC home opener against North Carolina State.
Clemson will next face No. 23 Notre Dame on the road on Saturday.