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Off the cuff: North Carolina actually started out slowly and was ripe for the picking had William & Mary been able to shoot at all. The Tribe has been hitting an average of seven threes in 19 attempts. But they missed their first 14 threes when the Heels were struggling.

Leslie McDonald's hot hand from three and Dexter Strickland's ability to generate offense broke the Heels out of their funk late in the first half and they played pretty well the rest of the way.

McDonald scored 14 in only 15 minutes of play while Strickland scored a career-high 19 in 23 minutes. A total of nine Tar Heels played 15 minutes or more in a game where all 16 players saw action.

John Henson's thumb continues to be a concern as he banged it working his way out of a screen and never returned after only 11 minutes to play. UNC women's coach Sylvia Hatchell's son Van Hatchell got in the scorebook with a free throw.

Tar Heels 85, William & Mary 60
Heels rebound for comfortable win

North Carolina, playing a team it squeezed by last season in the NIT, overcame the negative vibe from a tough last-second loss to Texas with an 85-60 comfortable victory over William & Mary at home. (12/21)

Five Tar Heels, led by Dexter Strickland's career-high 19 points, scored in double figures. Tyler Zeller and Leslie McDonald each scored 14 while Harrison Barnes added 13 and Reggie Bullock had 11.

McDonald got his point in only 15 minutes of play. With the Tribe behind by just eight with six minutes to play in the first half, scored eight points in less than two minutes. Back-to-back threes put the Heels, who had been struggling from the field, up by a 33-14 score with just less than four minutes to go in the half.

Carolina got the lead up to 24 before settling for a 42-20 halftime lead. A 9-0 run early in the second half, highlighted by another three from McDonald, put the Heels up 55-26 with 15 minutes left.

It never got closer than 21 the rest of the way and the lead got up to 31 with three minutes left.

William & Mary, now 4-7, was led by Kyle Gaillard who scored a career-high 25 points on an 11 of 14 shooting night. The rest of the team didn't do much as the Tribe shot just 37 percent and turned the ball over 21 times.

Carolina, now 8-4, played much of the game without John Henson who reaggrevated a thumb injury. The Heels travel to Rutgers next Tuesday, Dec. 28.


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