UNC-Chapel Hill falls to No. 21 Kentucky 98-69

UNC

North Carolina’s Dawson Garcia (13) drives to the basket against Kentucky’s Keion Brooks Jr. (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Joe Buglewicz)

LAS VEGAS (WNCN/AP) — UNC-Chapel Hill lost to No. 21 Kentucky 98-69 Saturday after the original Tar Heel opponent UCLA was replaced Friday because of COVID-19 protocols.

UNC was down 40-29 at the half during Saturday’s game in the CBS Sports Classic and never came back.

The Tar Heels had kept five straight opponents below 64 points. They were held to their lowest scoring output of the season Saturday against the Wildcats.

Forward Armando Bacot led the Tar Heels with 22 points as the only UNC player scoring in double figures until less than 3 minutes left in the game.

Guard RJ Davis had three assists and 10 points in the UNC effort.

UNC made only one of 14 3-point tries while Kentucky hit half of their 16 attempts.

The Tar Heels shot 42.3 percent from the floor while Kentucky made nearly 55 percent of their field goals.

Sahvir Wheeler scored 26 points and a season-best 80% from the floor, was one of four Wildcats to score in double figures in Kentucky’s first victory away from Rupp Arena.

Oscar Tshiebwe added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Wildcats, while Kellan Grady had 18 points and Keion Brooks Jr. had 10.

UNC is now 8-3 while Kentucky is 8-2.

Ohio State also dropped out of the CBS Sports Classic due to COVID protocols.

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