Bacot's impressive performance helps No. 19 North Carolina defeat Radford 86-70 ::

Bacot’s impressive performance helps No. 19 North Carolina defeat Radford 86-70 ::

This article was written by Bob Sutton for the Associated Press.

The location is Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Armando Bacot has previously delivered numerous impressive performances for North Carolina, but his performance in the season opener was unmatched.

In Monday night’s game, Bacot achieved a personal best by scoring 25 points and securing 13 rebounds. This impressive performance aided No. 19 North Carolina in their 86-70 victory against Radford.

“My year has arrived and it’s our collective year,” Bacot stated. “I recognized that I needed to give my all and establish a strong presence, as everything begins with me.”

Beginning his fifth season, Bacot, a preseason All-American, scored 13 points in the first half. He surpassed his previous record of 16 points against UNC Wilmington last year by scoring 25 points in the season opener.

RJ Davis and Cormac Ryan each contributed 13 points, while Harrison Ingram added 12 points for the Tar Heels.

North Carolina has won their 19th consecutive season opener.

The starting lineup for the Tar Heels included Ingram (from Stanford), Ryan (from Notre Dame), and Paxson Wojcik (from Brown). After last season’s disappointment of being ranked No. 1 nationally but not making it to the postseason except for the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, North Carolina is looking for a new beginning.

It would be beneficial to pass the ball to Bacot, who stands at 6-foot-11, in pursuit of our goal.

According to Bacot, the game was delivered to him early and it was well done. This could potentially benefit everyone else involved.

The Highlanders were unable to find a solution in the low post.

Nichols, the coach of Radford, acknowledged that they anticipated this to be a problem due to the player’s size and strength.

DaQuan Smith and Kenyon Giles each contributed 18 points for Radford in their game against a highly ranked opponent. This would have been only the second time in the program’s history that they achieved such a feat. Bryan Antoine also had a strong showing with 13 points.

Ryan’s shot from beyond the arc, taken in front of North Carolina’s bench, increased their lead to 74-61. This provided some much-needed distance for the Tar Heels, as Radford had been keeping the game close and causing unease among the home crowd.

Nichols stated, “I believe the men have depleted their fuel.”

Wojcik had a memorable debut with his new team on game day. During a morning shootaround, he accidentally collided with a Bacot elbow, resulting in 10 stitches on his forehead. He wore a headband to conceal the injury.

According to Wojcik, he was ready for anything by the time the game started.

North Carolina scored the final eight points of the first half, taking a 46-41 lead. Radford failed to make any of their next four shots and also had a turnover before halftime.

According to Ryan, the ability to make consecutive stops is significant.

On their initial seven turns, North Carolina successfully scored. However, Radford made a comeback and tied the game 20-20 with less than 11 minutes remaining in the first half. The Highlanders then took the lead at 29-26.

Radford had a 35-32 advantage with Smith contributing 12 points.


Reworded: Radford’s offense had bursts of energy that helped them stay competitive until late in the second half. However, they were unable to block the opposing team’s inside plays. Head coach Nichols expressed his thoughts on their performance, saying, “We were able to stay in the game for a significant amount of time. The challenge now is how do we maintain that level? I’ve seen improvement from our exhibition game and I believe we have the potential to continue improving throughout the season.”

The Tar Heels from North Carolina showed their proficiency in getting the ball inside by utilizing strong perimeter passing to create open shots. Ryan, a skilled perimeter player, contributed three of the team’s seven successful 3-point shots.


Radford will be playing against Marshall on Friday night at a neutral location, White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia.

This Sunday, North Carolina will be playing against Lehigh.