After playing a solid team basketball game advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, it was like a punch to the stomach afterwards. The Tar Heels learned that point guard Kendall Marshall broke his wrist in the game in which Carolina won 87-73 over Creighton in the third round of the Midwest Region.
Marshall had a huge game for North Carolina scoring 18 points to lead the team and dishing out 11 assists. He did play after the fall that led to the injury and continued to play well. Marshall is left handed and the break is in his right wrist. After the game, Coach Williams stated that he would see a specialist tomorrow to determine his status for the rest of the tournament.
"Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first, Kendall's got a fracture of the scaphoid bone of the right wrist. We'll speak to the hand specialist tonight with Kendall and his family and we'll see what happens after that." Williams said.
As to this game, North Carolina opened up a tight game after John Henson received a technical foul taking exception to what he felt were intentional to his injured wrist. The team appeared to pick up their intensity level and stepped up their defensive effort. The game was never in question again as the closest Creighton could close was to 8 points.
It was a balanced effort by North Carolina with all five starters in double figure scoring. One of those starters was John Henson who saw his first action since the ACC Tournament due to a sprained wrist. He came up big on Sunday, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He was a force in the paint defensively altering Blue Jays shots and blocking 4.
Harrison Barnes had 17 points despite struggling with his shot early while Reggie Bullock had 13, Tyler Zeller 11. The Tar Heels got a huge boost from the three point line gioing 8-16 for the game. Bullock went 3-5 while Barnes went 3-6.
Carolina shot over 50 percent from the field for the game while holding the Blue Jays to 41.2 percent. They won the rebounding battle as well, 43-34.
The team got 15 points from their bench led by James Michael McAdoo who finished with 9 points.
Stilman White would be the only point guard left if Marshall cannot go. Williams stated that there will be no further updates on Marshall tonight. Carolina will face the Ohio-South Florida winner Friday in St. Louis.
(photo courtesy of yahoo)