June 18, 2024

UNC Counts On Cormac Ryan’s Shooting In Win At Virginia

The sixth-year senior scored 18 points, knocked down six 3-pointers against the Cavalier defense.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Cormac Ryan made one of his most effective offensive plays on Saturday without touching the ball.

The sixth-year, 25-year-old senior found the range against Virginia with six 3-point makes inside John Paul Jones Arena, and by the end of the first half, the Cavaliers placed an all-points bulletin on him.

UNC called a play with 1:44 remaining in the second half on Saturday for Ryan to run off screens from Armando Bacot and Harrison Ingram to get an open look at a 3-pointer, with Elliot Cadeau handling the ball up top.

But Ryan was under so much surveillance without the ball that he brought Ingram’s defender with him, leaving Ingram wide open for a layup off a pass from Cadeau.

“Cormac made that play,” Cadeau said, “because hitting all those threes got all the attention on him, and it got one of his teammates wide open.”

Ryan’s six 3-pointers gave him all 18 of his points in North Carolina’s 54-44 road victory against Virginia on Saturday — UNC’s first win in Charlottesville against the Cavaliers since 2012. He scored 15 points in the first half and made all but one of North Carolina’s shots from outside for the entire game.

“It was definitely one of the better first-half feelings I’ve had,” Ryan said. “It’s always good when you get to see a couple in a row go down and get it rolling.”

Each of Ryan’s first two 3-point attempts went down on Saturday, and he wasn’t shy about getting them up from there. He finished 6-11 from beyond the arc.

The two-time transfer guard brought in a non-stop passionate energy with him when he arrived at North Carolina, which even revealed itself after some of his shots against Virginia.

After his fourth make in the first half to make the score 21-8, he let out a yell as he backpedaled to the other side of the court. Virginia later cut the North Carolina lead down to seven after scoring six unanswered points, which enlivened the crowd of Wahoos and raised the decibel count.

Right on cue, Ryan knocked down his fifth 3-pointer off a pass from Ingram and immediately turned around to shush the crowd.

“You gotta love a good road environment,” Ryan said. “Being able to tell them to quiet down is always a good feeling.”

(Photo: Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina, 247Sports)

Saturday was the first time this season that Ryan led the team in scoring.

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