By Mark Carroll - Blog Coordinator
The atmosphere was electric for the final game Tuesday night at McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium, as Harrison Barnes and Team Stackhouse tipped off in a rematch against C.J. Leslie and Team McGladrey.
Team McGladrey came out storming in the opening minutes, as incoming N.C. State freshman point guard Ryan Harrow's feisty play on both ends led the team to an 11-0 start. Barnes responded by ending the run, throwing down a tomahawk dunk with authority, but C.J. Leslie had answers of his own on the other end, scoring six quick points. After Harrow knocked down two free throws with 12.7 seconds remaining in the first period, Barnes missed a fade-away jumper at the buzzer, ending the quarter with a score of 23-10.
The game appeared to be getting out of hand at the start of the second quarter as Team McGladrey took an 18 point lead following N.C. State's Lorenzo Brown's turnaround jumper and a Leslie three point play. Team Stackhouse was not ready to go down, though.
"We just fought back," Team Stackhouse forward John Henson said. "That's what we do."
A deep trey by future Tar Heel P.J. Hairston was just the start of what would become a key run for Team Stackhouse. E.J. Williams and North Carolina shooting guard Reggie Bullock joined in on the action with three balls of their own. After a Hairston lay-up in transition, Williams hit two free throws with a minute remaining to cut the deficit to one. The fans in light blue erupted as Barnes threw down a two-hand jam to earn Stackhouse its first lead of the game. Harrow's jumper at the buzzer fell short, and his team trailed at halftime, 34-33.
Aggressive defense seemed to be the theme of a low scoring third quarter. Leslie found his way to the charity stripe three times in the period, but was only successful on two of his six attempts. Brown put a couple points on the board toward the end of the quarter with a leaping slam, but Team Stackhouse still held a three point advantage entering the final ten minutes of play.
Leslie's struggles from the line continued. He missed his first two free throws of the fourth quarter, and ultimately hit just six of 14 attempts on the night. Henson's shot blocking also did not help matters for Team McGladrey, as he swatted away two lay-up attempts by future Wolfpacker Joseph Uchebo.
Henson's defensive presence in the post proved to be crucial down the stretch, but Barnes and Bullock were the game changers on the offense.
"They just take it to the basket and score at will," Henson said of the freshmen.
After Leslie (16 points) finally found his touch at the free throw line, knocking down two shots for the first lead change of the half, Barnes immediately responded with a three pointer. Barnes extended the lead shortly after, hitting a pair of free ones for the final two of his game-high 18 points. Harrow, who led his team with 17 points, fought back by kissing a floater off the glass, but it was not enough. A Henson dunk with just over a minute to play served as the dagger. Team Stackhouse was the victor in the grudge match, winning by a score of 59-51 to boost its record to 5-0.