Saturday, October 16, 2010

Strickland leads Blue, Barnes leads White as UNC teams tie at Late Nite with Roy

After a rather lackluster dance/skit show during UNC's annual Late Nite with Roy basketball season tipoff, the Carolina players divided up into two teams and played to a 31-31 tie during the 20-minute scrimmage Friday night.

The White team, led by freshman Harrison Barnes' unofficial 13 points, led the entire game, even getting up by 12 at one point. But behind Dexter Strickland's unofficial game-leading 16 points, the Blue team chopped away at the lead before freshman Reggie Bullock sank a three to tie it at 31-31 and that's the way it ended.

John Henson passed up an open three to give it over to Bullock who drained the tying bucket from the top of the key.

The play started out sloppy with two turnovers and three missed shots in the first minute. The crowd of maybe 16,000 plus didn't really get into it until Barnes broke free for a fastbreak dunk to give the White an 8-0 lead. He got the crowd buzzing again with a dunk after driving the lane to make it 13-4.

Barnes also scored to give the White its biggest lead at 28-16. The Blue scored seven straight including five from Strickland to narrow the lead to 28-23 with 3:25 to go.

When Leslie McDonald popped in a three with three minutes left, it appeared to be in hand for the White team at 31-23.

But the White team never scored again and the Blue team went on an 8-0 run. Strickland tossed in a three and then fed Henson a nifty pass for two to draw the Blue within three at 31-28 with 1:25 left.

It stayed that way until Bullock's three which ended the game in a 31-all tie.

Transfer Justin Knox muscled in for a couple of baskets during the scrimmage to give the Tar Heel fans a glimpse at his power. The 6-foot-9, 240-pounder is the strongest-looking player on the court.

The night started with a women's basketball skit, dance and scrimmage. None of it was particularly entertaining (in fact the men proved to be better dancers later) but there were a couple of nice moments especially when cancer survivor Jessica Breland returned to the team being introduced last, wearing a pink uniform.

UNC grad and ESPN announcer Stuart Scott hosted the evening and often spoke about the pride all Carolina fans should have. He addressed the football scandal when he said, "This year has been a little tough" adding that because of the tradition Carolina has it was "hard to believe it could happen here."

He praised the university for its response to the scandal and said the football team still "looks pretty good."

Highlights of the men's portion of the show included seeing John Henson in a Carolina Snuggie, seeing the coaches - including Roy Williams - dance with a dancing cane, and watching the videos, featuring players and Williams, which were takeoffs of popular commercials.

Carolina hosts Barton College in an exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

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