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Off the cuff: After a couple of "off" games for Harrison Barnes, a brave journalist asked Roy Williams about it. Coach Williams said he wasn't worried about Harrison Barnes. On cue, Barnes went out and scored 26 points and hauled in 10 rebounds against Texas.

Coach Williams said he knew Barnes would have a big game. "He's a competive youngster and he's very gifted," he said. "I told him that if you're my biggest worry, I've got a nice situation."

While things haven't gone that well for Barnes lately, having failed to reach double figures in the last two games, Coach Williams said that big opponents fire him up. Remind him Coach that every ACC game is a big opponent.

The Tar Heels get a Christmas break of eight days and have a couple more nonconference games before they start the conference season Jan. 7 against Boston College.

Tar Heels 82, Texas 63
Heels get up for Texas, dominate

A more aggressive, alert North Carolina team showed up and dominated Texas defensively in an impressive 82-63 victory at home. (12/21) Click here for a photo gallery.

The Tar Heels had lost four straight to the Longhorns, including each of the last two years. And after playing some outclassed teams over exam time, Carolina seemed ready for a big game.

With the scored tied at 6-all, the Tar Heels went on 16-3 run which included an alert inbounds basket, a back door play, a nifty pass and a three-point shot.

The nifty pass came when Kendall Marshall whipped an underhanded pass in the lane to Tyler Zeller for a lay in. Harrison Barnes, who led the way with 26 points, finished out the spurt with a three-pointer after Texas left him open as he dribbled up court.

Carolina worked the lead up to 18 in the first half and settled for a 38-22 halftime margin. The first-half highlight reel included contested dunks by guards Dexter Strickland and P.J. Hairston.

The young Longhorns (Texas has six freshmen) disappointed Texas coach Rick Barnes. "Not to take anything away from North Carolina but we never gave ourselves a chance to win from the start," he said. Coach Barnes said his players weren't disciplined on the offensive end and didn't box out on the defensive end.

"They had more offensive rebounds (19) than we had defensive rebounds (16) - that's a major problem," he added.

In the second half, the Tar Heels worked the lead up to 21 at 50-29 when Marshall found James M. McAdoo who snuck through the lane for a dunk.

Carolina got its biggest lead of the game when Reggie Bullock got himself open for a three to make it 80-56 with 2:30 to play.

The Tar Heels dominated the boards with a 49-34 rebounding edge and held the Longhorns to 32.9 percent from the field as they harassed Texas all night long. Carolina shot 44.4 percent from the floor and, more impressively, 74.2 percent from the free throw line. The Heels have not been able to hit free throws lately and came into the game last in the league in foul shooting at 63 percent.

The Tar Heels, who also got 14 points from John Henson and 12 points from Bullock, improve to 11-2 while Texas falls to 9-3.

North Carolina plays Elon next on Dec. 29.


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