Josh Slater had team-highs of 21 points and nine rebounds, and freshman Robert Boyd scored 13 points as Lipscomb battled No. 8 North Carolina for much of the night but ultimately fell 80-66 Friday in the season-opener for both teams at Chapel Hill, N.C.
Lipscomb made nine of 29 3-point shots, and North Carolina made just four of 13. Boyd, in his collegiate debut, was 3-for-4 from beyond the stripe, and Slater and Jordan Burgason made two each.
In all, five different Lipscomb players made at least one 3-pointer, including center Adnan Hodzic, who finished with 14 points and extended his streak of consecutive double figure scoring games to 58, the longest in the nation.
The Bisons led several times in the first half and cut a 14-point second-half deficit to as few as three, largely on the strength of its 3-point shooting.
Brandon Brown’s two free throws with 8:53 to play made it 59-56, but Lipscomb was limited to just a basket and two free throws by Slater over the next 6:07.
Slater made a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer as the Bisons jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the opening 2:01.
Lipscomb, the Atlantic Sun Conference preseason favorite, led for the final time when a 3-pointer by Boyd capped a 9-0 run and made it 29-27 with 4:55 to play in the first half. A little more than a minute later Burgason tied it 32-32 with a 3-pointer of his own before North Carolina scored 11 of the final 13 points of the first half.
Harrison Barnes, a preseason All-American as a true freshman, had a team-high 15 points for the Tar Heels. Sophomore center John Henson added 10 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists.