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Off the cuff: After the Maryland game, UNC coach Roy Williams said the Heels were "as happy as we can be." He said he was especially happy for Marshall who had 12 assists en route to breaking the ACC single-season assist record.

Having to play four freshman at one point due to foul trouble and an injury to John Henson isn't normally a recipe for being as happy as you can be. But Carolina got 29 solid minutes off the bench from James Michael McAdoo, 15 productive minutes off the bench from P.J. Hairston and nine important minutes from Stilman White, spelling Marshall.

This game could have been a killer for Carolina, considering foul trouble on Marshall and especially Zeller, along with the injury to Henson. No one player took on the load but it was a team effort with five guys in double figures.

Still, the Tar Heels will need John Henson if they intend to win the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. Henson's wrist is not broken but only time will tell have much the sprain affects him.

Coach Williams doesn't usually put a big emphasis on winning the ACC Tournament as he wants to prepare for the NCAA Tournament. But I think he really wants it this year. Carolina won the ACC regular season last year and didn't play particularly well in the ACC Tournament and was still knocked out of the NCAA Tournament. As for the players, if it does come down to Duke-Carolina in the tourney finals, you know with each team winning one game against the other, they'll put everything they have into beating the Blue Devils.

Tar Heels 85, Maryland 69
Marshall assists Henson-less Tar Heels

North Carolina's Kendall Marshall broke the ACC record for most assists in a season and James Michael McAdoo filled in for an injured John Henson as the Tar Heels beat Maryland 85-69 in the second round of the ACC Tournament in Atlanta. (3/9) Click here for a photo gallery.

Henson went down with a left wrist injury after a hard foul. He tried to come back but had trouble catching and gripping the ball. X-rays at the half showed that the wrist is not broken and his status for the rest of the tournament is in question.

Freshman McAdoo came in for Henson and made a good impact, scoring 14 points and hauling in eight rebounds in 29 minutes of play - by far his best game of the season.

During the time Henson was in the game, the Heels worked up a 20-10 lead. But Maryland, behind Terrell Stoglin, cut the deficit to three midway through the first half.

Then, the Tar Heels went on a 10-3 run to get the lead back up to double figures at 32-22. McAdoo capped off the run with a baseline jumper.

Carolina extended a 36-26 halftime lead quickly at the start of the second half. Reggie Bullock drained two threes in the first minute and a half - one from the left wing and one from the right. After McAdoo drove the baseline for a dunk, the Tar Heels led 44-26.

(That proved to be the biggest lead of the game until late when the Heels worked it up to 22 points.)

A 19-8 run by Maryland over just four minutes cut the margin to seven. During that time, Zeller got in foul trouble and Marshall was called for palming for the first time this season. One of Zeller's fouls were ruled flagrant, resulting in two free throws and Terp bucket - in essence a four-point play.

Harrison Barnes took over, starting a Carolina 11-2 run, with a driving layup in a set formation and a driving fastbreak layup. After Marshall hit a three from the top of the key midway through the second half to make it 61-47, it never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

Despite Henson's absence, the Tar Heels placed five players in double figures. Barnes and Bullock scored 15 each while McAdoo and Zeller tallied 14 each. Marshall rounded out the double-figure scorers with 13 points to go with his 12 assists.

Marshall set the ACC single-season assist record with his assist to Barnes with 15:27 remaining in the first half. The 6-foot-4 sophomore point guard passed former Georgia Tech guard Craig Neal, who had held the record since the 1987-88 season.

North Carolina, 28-4, plays the NC State, a 67-64 winner over Virginia, Saturday at 1 p.m.


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