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UNC basketball’s Caleb Love starts strong in win over Notre Dame

January 7th, 2023

Caleb Love returned to form in UNC’s win against Notre Dame on Saturday.

CHAPEL HILL — Rocking its throwback jerseys, North Carolina basketball logged a vintage performance in an 81-64 win against Notre Dame at the Smith Center.

In a game that started at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Caleb Love scored 13 of his 18 points in the first half and Armando Bacot (21 points, 13 rebounds) logged his ninth double-double performance of the season for the Tar Heels (11-5, 3-2 ACC).

Living up to its program mantra, UNC played hard, played smart and played together to fend off the Fighting Irish (8-8, 0-5), which trimmed its deficit to seven in the second half before the Tar Heels pushed it back to double digits the rest of the way.

The Tar Heels won the rebounding battle by seven, had 19 assists on 31 made shots and limited Notre Dame to 42% shooting.

Caleb Love connects from distance 

After struggling to find his form in the previous three games, Caleb Love got back on track with an impressive first-half shooting performance that helped the Tar Heels take a 13-point lead into the locker room.

In the last three games, Love missed 12 of 15 shots from long range. Overall, against Pitt and Wake Forest, Love missed 18 of his 24 shots.

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The junior guard turned that around quickly Saturday with 10 points in the first 14 minutes against the Fighting Irish. He made five of his eight shots in the first half, including three of four 3-pointers to extend his school record streak to 44 consecutive games with at least one trey.

Pete Nance sits out, bench provides boost

Pete Nance was sidelined Saturday with a sore back, which provided UNC’s bench an opportunity to shine.

Three UNC reserves logged double-digit minutes, including freshman guard Seth Trimble, who made his first career start. Trimble had three points, three rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes.

Junior wing Puff Johnson (11 points, six rebounds) and former Westover High star D’Marco Dunn (seven points) combined for 18 of the Tar Heels’ 22 bench points. Jalen Washington and Justin McKoy also saw playing time in the first half.

Up next 

UNC travels to No. 11 Virginia (10-3, 2-2 ACC) on Tuesday (9 p.m., ESPN).

Staff writer Rodd Baxley can be reached at or @RoddBaxley on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: UNC basketball: Caleb Love starts strong as Tar Heels beat Notre Dame

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