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Off the cuff: If the Tar Heels could play like they did during a six-minute stretch in the second half when they outscored Nicholls State 23-1, this could be a special season. But overall, the Heels didn't look special.

They'll have to shoot better against Texas Wednesday because the Heels will not get 31 offensive rebounds against the Longhorns. Plus, they can't leave points at the free throw line against good teams. Carolina hasn't shot well from the line all year, coming into the game hitting just 65 percent, but the Heels managed only 21 of 41 free throws against Nicholls St.

Coach Williams said there isn't much to say about free throw shooting. He compared it to talking about putting in golf. The more you think about it, the worse you do. But he did have the Heels shoot some extra free throws yesterday, something he said must have been a mistake.

Former UNC player Hubert Davis was the color analyst for the TV broadcast. He's one of my favorite Heels of all time but even he annoys me as a announcer. I bet he said Dexter Strickland was shooting the 15 to 17 foot jumper better this season at least five times. And he said that Tyler Zeller was the fastest big man in the country at least three times. And he used the term "length" about 15 times, and he pronounces it "lynnth." I guess it's like "ant" versus "ahhnt" for "aunt." Whatever, it just got kinda old.

The announcers, per usual, got into talking about other things besides the game. One seldom-used Heel, Patrick Crouch, went to the line for two free throws and his name was never mentioned. The guy finally gets in a game and hits a free throw and it's ignored - he doesn't even have it mentioned on tape for posterity. Note to Hubert: We don't care how Vanderbilt's season is going. What brought that up anyway?

Anyone old enough to remember the C.D. Chesley ACC TV broadcasts will remember that the pre-game show discussed the game coming up, the game broadcast itself revolved only around the game at hand and the post-game show discussed the game just viewed. Other teams and other scores were given at halftime and after the game and that was it. Those were the days. Since there are numerous outlets to get scores, it should be like that again today.

Tar Heels 99, Nicholls St. 49
UNC sluggish but 72 rebounds help

There won't be many games where only one North Carolina starter scores in double figures and the Tar Heels win. But, behind 72 rebounds, including 31 on the offensive backboard, UNC routed Nicholls State 99-49. (12/19) Click here for a photo gallery.

Dexter Strickland was the starting sparkplug for the Heels as he scored 14 points on a six for eight shooting performance. The other three double-figure scorers were all reserves. James M. McAdoo had 14 points and six rebounds, P.J. Hairston had 13 points in 14 minutes and Reggie Bullock scored 10.

The Tar Heels started slowly at the beginning of each half. UNC scored its first 14 points of the game after offensive rebounds, showing that the Heels shooting eye was off target. Five minutes went by in the second half before the Heels scored a field goal.

Defensively though, the Tar Heels held Nicholls St. to 31 percent shooting while blocking 11 shots. The rebounding total was one of the largest in Carolina history. But UNC coach Roy Williams wasn't impressed with that saying that if the Heels hadn't missed so many shots, they wouldn't have had to get all those offensive rebounds.

He said that the Tar Heels were bigger and more talented so they should have dominated the boards.

Coach Williams, who said he didn't do well getting his team ready to play, was happy with some of the contributions from the subs, who came on en masse when he wasn't happy with the starters. And he was happy with the play during a 23-1 spurt in the second half.

With just over 12 minutes to play, the Heels led 61-32. Within six minutes the score was 84-33. Several blocked shots led to transition buckets on the other end during the run. A Strickland to Tyler Zeller transition fastbreak dunk gave the Heels a 67-32 lead and John Henson block started a fastbreak that went from Harrison Barnes to Kendall Marshall to Strickland to put the Heels up by 40 at 73-33 with less than 10 minutes to play.

A couple of free throws by McAdoo gave the Tar Heels their biggest margin of the game at 52, 93-41. But free throw shooting was the worst part of Carolina's game as the Heels shot only 21 of 41 for just 51 percent.

Carolina, 10-2, hosts Texas on Wednesday night. The Heels have lost three straight to the Longhorns, including two losses in the last two years.


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