Home Page banner.cb3cartoon.
Check back prior to the 2008 season for a preview and a program outlook.
Click here for Carolina baseball analysis.

Off the cuff: The Michigan State game was by far the best Larry Drew II has played as a Tar Heel. In addition to his 18 points, he also had six assists and a steal. It was also Dexter Strickland's best game as the freshman scored nine points, had four rebounds, dished out three assists, blocked two shots and came up with a steal.

Strickland needs to tone down his emotions a bit as he has a habit of sticking his tongue out mockingly after he does something positive.

Coach Roy Williams said it was a fun night, especially in the first half. He said the key in the first half was that everybody who came in off the bench contributed well to the effort. He wasn't pleased with the missed free throws but he praised Will Graves for tipping out a couple of the misses and praised the defense for making defensive stops down the stretch, especially by contesting three-point shots.

Heels 89, Spartans 82
Revamped Heels still beat Michigan St.

Even without four starters from last year's team, North Carolina looked like the national champions that beat Michigan State in the title game - at least in the first half - as the Tar Heels defeated the Spartans 89-82 at home. (12/1)

Up by eight with less than two minutes left in the first half at 40-32, the Tar Heels went on a 10-2 run, including a three at the buzzer by freshman Dexter Strickland to put the defending national champions up 50-34 at the half.

Carolina got its largest lead of the night in the first few seconds of the second half when senior Marcus Ginyard drilled a three to put the Heels up by 19 at 53-34.

UNC led by at least 13 until Spartan Durrell Summers scored on a driving layup following one of 17 Carolina turnovers to make it 69-58 with 11:12 left in the game. Still, the Tar Heels led by at least double figures until Michigan State's Raymar Morgan got an offensive rebound and slammed it home to pull the Spartans within nine at 76-67.

Poor free throw shooting by the Tar Heels down the stretch allowed the Spartans to hang around and even cut the margin to six on three occasions. Over the last eight minutes, Carolina hit only nine of 17 free throws. During that same stretch, however, Michigan State missed 10 of 11 three-point shots and finished just two of 20 from behind the arc.

Seven early points by Ed Davis and five by Deon Thompson gave the Heels an eight-point cushion at 14-6. However, Michigan State came back for a 17-16 lead. After Strickland sank a three pointer midway through the half to make it 24-21, Carolina never trailed again.

With 4:35 left in the first half, the Heels got its first double-digit margin at 36-26 on a hook shot by Tyler Zeller. While the crowd went wild after that shot, the decibel level nearly doubled after Ginyard spun through the lane and scored on a driving layup to give the Heels a 45-32 lead with 1:09 left in the half.

After Strickland hit the shot at the buzzer, the building was the loudest it has been this season.

Carolina, now 7-1, got career-best scoring games from Davis, who had 22 points, and Larry Drew II, who tallied 18 points including seven of eight from the field and five of six from the free throw line. The Heels shot 58 percent from the floor and held the Spartans to 43 percent.

Michigan State, now 5-2, was led by Morgan's 18 points.

North Carolina plays at favored Kentucky Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

Photo Gallery


Check out the other game articles.
Read my Tar Heels' season preview on by clicking here.

© 2009 CB3media Cary, NC