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dailytarheel.com

Monday, February 16, 2015

SportsMonday

The Daily Tar Heel

SCOREBOARD

Women’s Basketball: Louisville 75, UNC 66 Track: Competed in the Husky Classic and Iowa State Classic Gymnastics: Georgia 196.2, UNC 195.2 Softball: South Carolina 6, UNC 3

BASEBALL: NORTH CAROLINA 9, SETON HALL 5

PITCHING LEADS TO SETON HALL SWEEP

MEN’S BASKETBALL: PITTSBURGH 89, UNC 76

Meaning in loss, losses

The men’s basketball team concluded a long, trying week with a loss. By Dylan Howlett Senior Writer

DTH/KENDALL BAGLEY Junior right-hander Trent Thornton (31) fires a pitch toward home. He started game one of UNC’s three-game series against Seton Hall and allowed one run.

In UNC’s season opener, the team’s pitching depth was evident By Carlos Collazo Assistant Sports Editor

Pitching was supposed to be the strength of the No. 15 North Carolina baseball team this season. And after a three-game series sweep of Seton Hall where the Tar Heels limited the Pirates to just eight earned runs, it certainly seems like that’s the case. “We’re so confident,” said sophomore righthander Spencer Trayner. “We’re so confident, and it’s a blast out there. Every guy that we’re gonna bring in is gonna be real good. We’re prepared for it. “If our starter doesn’t get us to the sixth or seventh, we have the depth to take care of that. And then we have the depth in the back of the bullpen to really shut down games well.” In UNC’s 7-1 win Friday, junior Trent Thornton had a solid but unspectacular start where he wasn’t able to go as deep into the game as he wanted — just 4.1 innings. The right-hander allowed five hits and one run while striking out six batters and walking

three. That wasn’t an issue for this UNC pitching staff, though. Trayner came in and threw 2.2 scoreless relief innings while retiring 10 straight batters during his appearance. “We’ve got guy after guy in the bullpen that we have all the confidence in,” Thornton said. “I mean Spencer Trayner, Chris McCue, Reilly Hovis, Hansen Butler, I mean the list goes on and on. “No matter who we’re running in there out of the bullpen, we have complete confidence in them.” But it isn’t just the bullpen that’s a strength. In Saturday’s double header, senior Benton Moss continued to be the pitcher that he’s become known to be in Chapel Hill, and freshman J.B. Bukauskas lived up to all the hype that comes with being the nation’s No. 29 righthanded pitcher. Moss struck out nine batters and allowed just two runs in his five innings of work in the second game (a 10-4 win), and Bukauskas sealed the deal in game three (a 9-5 win). His

five-inning effort featured five strikeouts and a handful of 97 mph fastballs. “He’s just got explosive stuff, he’s got so much potential,” Moss said of Bukauskas after the double header. “It’s awesome just to watch him.” Coach Mike Fox didn’t think the Ashburn, Va., native’s college debut could have gone any better. “J.B. was perfect,” he said. “It couldn’t have been scripted out any (more) perfect to get him five innings … We weren’t gonna let him throw over 90 (pitches), so we didn’t see any reason to put him out there in the sixth inning. “But you can see the great arm he has. I think he’s only gonna get better.” As for Bukauskas, he’s just excited to be part of a pitching staff with so many quality options. A total of 13 different pitchers threw over the weekend, and just four of them allowed earned runs. “It feels great,” he said. “It’s way different than in high school where you only have one guy on the team like that. Here, you have 18 of them.” sports@dailytarheel.com

PITTSBURGH — What a week it had been: one of loss and bloodshed, of hearts kneaded into twisted rubble. It would end with more loss, this time the trivial kind, offering a gentle reminder that a game is no more than it says it is. But this one was imbued with more meaning, much more, than the average Saturday afternoon fare. Roy Williams strolls the hall outside the North Carolina basketball team’s visiting locker room at the Petersen Events Center. His No. 12 Tar Heels (18-7, 8-4 ACC) had just endured a Valentine’s Day crush, an 89-76 loss to unranked Pittsburgh (17-9, 6-6). No team in the last 30 years has shot better in a game against UNC than the Panthers, who found the net on 64.9 percent of their attempts. To them, the rim looked like an ocean, and UNC was but driftwood. Fitting, it was, because UNC had been adrift, its coach most of all. His mentor and friend had passed away seven days ago, though his initials — D.E.S. — remained Saturday on a patch sewn onto UNC’s uniforms. For Williams they stayed on a lapel button, pinned close to his heart. On Tuesday, his campus grieved once more, this time for the lives of three students. There was a vigil held in their memory Wednesday and a funeral and burial Thursday. There was a private memorial the same day for Dean Smith. And there was a basketball game Saturday, so incongruous, it was, amid the heartache that preceded it. “It’s been emotional; it’s been consuming,” Williams said Friday afternoon at the Smith Center before UNC departed for Pittsburgh. “Not just time-consuming: It’s been all-consuming because of the thoughts you have.” “Stressful,” said forward J.P. Tokoto when asked to describe the last seven days. “We’re not the only ones going through stuff in everyday life. And we get a chance to do what we love in front of people who love

SEE MEN’S HOOPS, PAGE 7

MEN’S LACROSSE: UNC 20, MASSACHUSETTS 8

UNC men’s lacrosse finds another trio of hat tricks

Joey Sankey, Jimmy Bitter and Luke Goldstock each scored three goals. By Andrew Tie Staff Writer

On Feb. 7, the No. 5 North Carolina men’s lacrosse team (3-0) completed a feat it hadn’t accomplished in six years. Starting attackmen Joey Sankey, Jimmy Bitter and Luke Goldstock each netted a hat trick against Furman. And then it happened again on Saturday, in UNC’s 20-8 win over Massachusetts (0-2). Before this season, three starting attackmen for UNC hadn’t each recorded a hat trick since 2009 when Bitter’s brother Billy was part of the trio. Now it’s happened twice in three games to start the 2015 season. Though it doesn’t matter who scores the goals for UNC, the achievement shows balance and offensive firepower. “When we get into trouble offensively, it’s when everybody’s trying to make ‘The Play,’” Coach Joe Breschi

said. “If we share the ball, opportunities are going to be abundant for everybody.” Sankey had his way with UMass after just two points against High Point Tuesday. Sankey dodged, ducked and dipped his way to seven points, including four assists, both tying a career high. On one restart after the ball went out of bounds, Sankey went solo, running from behind the goal to in front of it and whipping an underhanded shot in. He showed stickto-it perseverance in the third quarter, stealing a pass from a UMass defender to the goalie in midair and popping it in the net in one motion. Bitter did his work early, scoring three goals and notching two assists in the first 17 minutes. The third weapon of the triumvirate, Goldstock, doesn’t have the pedigree the Sankey-Bitter duo has — both are tied for 10th on UNC’s alltime goals list — but he’s held his own so far this season. The sophomore has the third-most points in three games, just behind Bitter and Sankey. “Luke’s a great player,” Sankey said. “He’s probably the most improved player from last year.

He’s got a great shot. He has great vision. It’s nice when we can all get involved.” Breschi praised Goldstock for knowing his role and fitting in with the two stars. “He’s overshadowed a little bit by the Sankey-Bitter combination, who are so good, but I think Luke is every bit as good as top attackmen out there,” Breschi said. “Those guys are starting to play well together.” The offensive balance against UMass wasn’t limited to just the attackmen. Seven other players scored goals, including a Peyton Klawinski hat trick and multiple goals from Chad Tutton and Duncan Hutchins. Even defenseman Austin Pifani got in on the action. Early in the second half, Pifani scooped up a loose ball on defense with his long stick and pushed into the offensive zone. He kept running free, unstopped, and took the clear path straight to the goal and scored. “I’m going to the cage every time if they’re not respecting me,” Pifani said. The transition under new offensive coordinator David Metzbower has appeared to be smooth. Sankey and Bitter have continued their record-

DTH/HENRY GARGAN Senior attackman Joey Sankey (11) earned a hat trick against Massachusetts Saturday, as did senior Jimmy Bitter (4) and sophomore Luke Goldstock (1).

breaking pace and Goldstock has provided a new, legitimate scoring option. “As an offense, we’re really clicking and getting better each week, which is the goal,” Sankey said.

“We’ve really been focusing on keeping the ball hot, moving it. The flow has been really great this year.” sports@dailytarheel.com

DTH Feb. 16, 2015  

The Daily Tar Heel Feb. 16, 2015 SportsMonday

DTH Feb. 16, 2015  

The Daily Tar Heel Feb. 16, 2015 SportsMonday

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