The rollercoaster start to the season for the No. 16 North Carolina Tar Heels continued Sunday in Birmingham. Playing in their first game since beating then-No.3 Louisville last Sunday, the Tar Heels failed in their comeback bid against the UAB Blazers, falling 63-59.
North Carolina has already dropped two games in upset fashion this year. The Tar Heels' first loss of the season was a stunner at home to Belmont, and that Hyde version of the team showed up again against UAB, who improved to 6-2.
North Carolina trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half, but they came storming back and had several opportunities to tie it in the game's final minute. Marcus Paige missed a three-pointer with 24 seconds left and then had a second opportunity at a three blocked. UAB knocked down 3-of-4 free throws to ice it.
Chad Frazier led the Blazers with 25 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Frazier went 12-of-14 from the line, where UAB had a significant advantage all night. The Blazers shot just 30.6 percent from the field, but they outscored the Tar Heels by 18 at the charity stripe. UAB also dominated the boards, winning the rebounding battle by 15 and grabbing 21 offensive rebounds in the process.
J.P. Tokoto had 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting to lead North Carolina. Paige had 13 points and five assists, but he shot 0-of-6 from three-point land and the Tar Heels as a team went just 1-of-12 from deep.