Playing without point guard Kendall Marshall, North Carolina was totally out of rhythm for much of the second half but found a way to survive and advance past Ohio, 73-65 in overtime.
Tyler Zeller had 20 points and 22 rebounds to lead the Tar Heels who started Stilman White in place of the injured Marshall. If losing Marshall was not enough, Harrison Barnes struggled throughout the evening with 12 points going 3-16 from the floor.
The Tar Heels led by 7 at the half after controlling things in the frst half but in the second half, Ohio caught fire from behind the three point arch. The team went 12-32 from threes and held a one point lead with 1:44 left in regulation. Carolina fought back and had the last possession of regulation with the game tied. Harrison Barnes drove the lane but was stripped of the ball and the game went to overtime.
The Tar Heels took control of the game in overtime and held on to the 8 point win as Barnes had 5 of his 12 points in the overtime period.
North Carolina got a huge lift from Reggie Bullock who picked up the team in the second half and finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Stilman White held his own against D.J. Cooper, Ohio's leader, in the first half and clearly played the point more successfully than Justin Watts. Cooper struggled with his shot going 3-20 from the field with 10 points. White finished with 2 points but had 6 assists and no turnovers.
Walter Offutt led the Bobcats with 26 points, knocking down 6 three pointers.
John Henson was his steady self with 14 points and 10 rebounds but Ohio collapsed hard on North Carolina's big men and Henson was able to score primarily on jump shots.
Roy Williams was asked if Kendall Marshall would play on Sunday, "I don't think so `cause he still hasn't done anything, but North Carolina's going to play on Sunday. We're happy about that."
North Carolina moves to 32-5 on the season and will face either Kansas or North Carolina State on Sunday.