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Off the cuff: The Syracuse loss was diappointing but not surprising. The Orange, who used to also be men, have five returning starters on a team that made the NCAAs last year. Carolina is still monkeying around with its lineup with freshmen getting significant playing time. The 20-1 run was inexcusable as the Heels were way off on their shots during the first eight minutes of the second half. Again, it was disappointing, especially considering that the Heels had a halftime lead, but it wasn't unexpected. If the Heels play Syracuse in March, they'll win.


Orange 87, Heels 71
Syracuse runs UNC out in the 2nd half

Up 39-37 over nationally ranked Syracuse, UNC was run out of Madison Square Garden in the second half as the Orange dismantled the Tar Heels 87-71 to win the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. (11/20)

In a game of runs, Syracuse executed the key run of the night as the Orange started the second half with a 22-1 streak that all but ended the game. Carolina didn’t convert a field goal in the second half until Tyler Zeller scored with 12 minutes to play but by that time the Heels were down by 19 points.

Trailing  62-42 midway through the second half, Carolina closed the gap to eight in less than four minutes. Inspiring play by Marcus Ginyard and a three by freshman David Wear capped an 18-6 UNC run that made it 68-60 Syracuse.

But over the next 3:30, Syracuse outscored the Heels 13-2 to go up 81-62 and put it away for good.

Once again turnovers haunted the Tar Heels as Carolina lost the ball 18 times, 11 of which came off the hands of the three most experienced players – Marcus Ginyard, Deon Thompson and Ed Davis.

UNC got down 8-0 early but caught up after a pair of threes by Will Graves and an old-fashioned three-point play inside by Davis to take the lead 13-11.

With Carolina ahead 18-16, Syracuse went on a 15-4 run to take a 31-22 advantage. But the Tar Heels went on a 13-2 run of their own to re-take the lead at 35-33 following a Ginyard three.

Still ahead by two at 39-37 to start the second half, Carolina fell apart. The Tar Heels went cold and weren’t even close. Syracuse hit seven of its first 10 shots while Carolina hit none of its first 10 shots.

The Orange, who scored 16 straight points during the run, led 59-40 with less than eight minutes gone in the second half.

"Two air balls on our first two shots and then two turnovers. Our first four possessions of the second half we don't even hit the rim," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "We didn't have an answer for guarding Wes (Johnson) and it was the snowball effect from there. It's frustrating no question about that. We've got to play better and they're good."

Tournament MVP Wesley Johnson had 25 points to lead the Orange while Ed Davis had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Tar Heels, who fall to 4-1.

Carolina returns home to host Gardner-Webb Monday at 7:30 p.m. in a game televised by Fox Sports South.



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