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Off the cuff: Carolina's win against Long Beach State may be remembered as John Henson's offensive coming out party. Known as a shot blocker and defender who can score, if he keeps hitting long-range jumpers might become known as a scorer who can blocks shots.

But, despite the work Henson put in on shooting during the summer, Coach Williams rightly warns not to get too excited.

"I think he made some jump shots and yet I think that is fool's gold sometimes," Coach Williams said. "Our chances are better with Reggie (Bullock) or Harrison (Barnes) shooting and John rebounding as opposed to the opposite way. John took one down the stretch that I didn't want him to take, but in the second half, I thought he was so much more effective offensively than just shooting jump shots. He got involved defensively. He blocked some shots that were huge for us. John is just getting better and better."

Tar Heels 84, Long Beach St. 78
UNC, trailing at half, comes on late

North Carolina had a tough time at home against Long Beach State, making the rout of Evansville a distant memory. Down 45-40 at the half, the Tar Heels went on a 13-4 run midway in the second half to take the lead and held on for an 84-78 win. (12/10) Click here for a photo gallery.

During the run, a Reggie Bullock three-pointer gave the Heels a 62-59 lead and they never trailed again. The Heels worked the lead up to 11 on a dunk by John Henson but settled for a six-point final margin.

UNC coach Roy Williams said he was especially disappointed in the Tar Heels play in the first half but he thought it would be a close game the whole way.

"You've got to congratulate them," Williams said of Long Beach State. "I knew they wouldn't go away. We got it to 11 and we made a few bonehead plays that made it back to six, but I don't think it ever got under six down the stretch."

He credited Bullock with getting the Heels out of shooting duldrums. "He was needed a heck of a lot more than some of his other games, there's no question about that," Williams said. "I like his confidence. I didn't even want to take him out, except for possession on the defensive end. He just couldn't slide his feet, and his gas tank was empty."

Bullock converted three triples on his way to 15 points but it was John Henson who led the Tar Heels with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Harrison Barnes canned a trio of threes on his way to 20 points. Tyler Zeller rounded out the double-figure scorers with 17 points.

North Carolina, now 8-2, hosts Appalachian State on Saturday.


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