CHAPEL HILL, NC – Cole Anthony did not need much time to make a name for himself in the North Carolina Record Book.
Anthony set the school record on his debut as he graduated from a freshman with 34 and 11 points. While recovering from the No. 11 Tar Heels on Wednesday night at Notre Dame 76-65, he recovered.
With his father – former UNLV and NBA guard Greg Anthony – broke the pre-season rookie of the year in the rostrum of the Atlantic Coast Conference Rashad McCants' 17-year-old goal record was scored by a freshman set up his first game, finishing the field with 12 of 24 with six 3-pointers.
"It's cool, I'll – not celebrate, but be happy Tonight, think a bit, give me a little pat on the back," said Anthony. "But we have practice tomorrow, we have to lock ourselves in. We have a game on Friday."
Anthony scored 29-13 in the second half, scoring 15 points to control the Tar Heels.
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Prentiss Hubb scored 22 points in his Career, TJ Gibbs added 19 and John Mooney finished with 10 for the Fighting Irish. They led 37-32 just under 2 minutes into the second half.
Anthony took over, starting with one runner, losing seven consecutive points to his team, scoring three 3s in four minutes D he last hit brought the Tar Heels with 61:50 the first two-digit lead 9 minutes from time.
"Sometimes I said Tyler Hansbrough was wearing us," Williams said of the former international of the year. "Cole Anthony carried us tonight. … That was, to say the least, pretty impressive.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish had never opened a season with a conference game – at one of their conferences – and that was a tough one. On Anthony's debut, they played more than just the slides. During the few minutes Anthony was sitting on the bench, he prevailed against UNC 12-2, building up the lead in the second half to Hubb's shooting but unable to restrain the rookie Tar Heels.
"I thought his dagger would be a big part of it," said coach Mike Brey. "I love how we played. We were ready for the fight, but he just got one of those roles that we all saw on the AAU circuit. You just have not seen it yet. But you saw it tonight. So I thought that's really the difference.
North Carolina: Anthony certainly lived up to the hype and became the first UNC freshman with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in a game since Hansbrough v Georgia Tech in 2006. He helped The Tar Heels reach a milestone – they have won their 700th ACC victory, the first program of the conference with so many victories.
THE EYES HAVE IT
Anthony, a spectacle wearer off the pitch, started the game with a pair of prescription glasses, but dropped them in the first half of the year because they affected his depth perception. "When I took it off, clicked something," Anthony said.
The record Anthony had broken was previously held by McCants, who scored 28 points in the opener against Penn State in 2002.
ON THE OTHER HANDS
Sometimes the Tar Heels looked like they did not play together often – for good reason. Four players – three of them newcomers – were at the start for the first time in school. North Carolina scored 18 sales, 12 of which were from regular season players at UNC.
The two best games in Hubb's career have landed at the Smith Center. He reached his highest level of 18 points in the defeat of the Irish here in January.
Notre Dame: Host Robert Morris on Saturday Friday night.