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Off the cuff: Kendall Marshall's not going to shoot like that every game, hitting four of five threes and seven of eight total shots, but teams are not going to be able to leave him that open the rest of the season. He's going to take that open three.

It was the first game since Evansville on Dec. 6 that five Tar Heels have scored in double figures. Part of the reason might have been because UNC coach Roy Williams sat the subs for most of the last 10 minutes because they took poor shots and turned the ball over when they were in there in the second half.

The Heels hit 51 percent of their shots, including 10 of 19 from three-point land. "I think we shot it better than we have all year," Williams said.

Tar Heels 86, N.C. State 74
Marshall does it all to frustrate Pack

N.C. State had the chip on its shoulder and the Wolfpack played well enough inside to beat North Carolina... but only if Kendall Marshall hadn't decided to shoot. Marshall scored a career-high 22 points, including four threes, to lead the Heels to an 86-74 victory in Raleigh. (2/21) Click here for a photo gallery.

One of Marshall's threes helped the Tar Heels get out to a 19-5 lead but State, behind C.J. Leslie, came back to tie it at 30-30. Marshall, not normally a shooter, was left open for another three with 3:21 left in the half to give the Heels a six-point cushion at 42-36.

Up 46-41 at the half, the Tar Heels went on a 16-8 run to take a commanding 63-49 lead with 13:45 left. Marshall started the run as he blew by defenders for a lay up. During the run Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bullock drained threes.

Also during that stretch the Wolfpack got in foul trouble with Richard Howell picking up his fourth foul and Leslie picking up his third. Leslie, who led the Pack with a season-high 24 points, eventually did foul out late.

The Pack did manage to draw to within seven points with 11:25 to go but a bank shot by Tyler Zeller, a long and sweeping hook shot by John Henson and another Marshall drive-by layup got the Heels back up by 14 and it never got closer again over the last nine minutes.

Carolina kept State at bay by hitting 51 percent of its shots although the Pack, unlike in Chapel Hill, hung with the Heels in the paint. But UNC hit 10 of 19 threes. All five Tar Heel starters scored in double figures. In addition to Marshall's 22 points, Barnes scored 20, Henson and Zeller each tallied 14 while Bullock scored 11.

"When they hit like that from outside to complement their inside game, they are tough to beat," State coach Mike Gottfried said. "They shot the ball extremely well so you have to tip your hat for that."

But it was Marshall that put the dagger in the Pack with his shooting AND his passing. He hit seven of eight from the floor, four of four from the line and he dished out 13 assists against only one turnover. (There is a dispute about whether Marshall had one or zero turnovers.)

N.C. State has now lost four games in a row, including three that the Pack could have won and another where official Karl Hess fired up the fans by ejecting former stars Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta from the stands. Before the game, the 1989 team that included those two was honored. So the fans were wired at the start.

But Carolina hit eight of its first 12 shots while State hit just two of its first 12 shots to minimize the fan effect. The Tar Heels have now won 12 straight against the Wolfpack and 18 of the last 19 between the two rivals.

North Carolina, now 11-2 in the ACC and in first place alone until the Florida State vs. Duke game, play at Virginia Saturday afternoon.


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