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Off the cuff: Carolina's defense definitely won this game against Maryland. In the first half, where the game was won, the Tar Heels scored 14 points off Terrapin turnovers, most of which were forced by Carolina's aggressiveness on defense.

"We just came out with a lot of intensity," UNC's Marcus Paige said. "The first half was probably the best half of basketball we've played all year. Right away from the beginning, just pressuring, they did have some turnovers but we caused some of those. We weren't able to maintain it. They came out aggressive in the second half. But in the first half, we played some great basketball."

James Michael McAdoo says the sense of urgency came from Coach Williams but the players have to actually go out and do it.

"Some of the games this year we haven't done that at all, but as you can see when we do do it like in the first half, we're a great basketball team. We can play phenomenal," McAdoo said. "Other times like in the second half when we let down, you can see glimpses of how we used to be and how we still can be. I feel like that's just coming with us maturing and continuing to buy into what Coach Roy is telling us."

Carolina will have to put two halves together to beat Duke and State this season.


Tar Heels 62, Maryland 52
Active Tar Heels jump on Terps early

North Carolina played perhaps its best basketball of the season in the first half at home against Maryland - it was certainly the most active defensively the Tar Heels have been - en route to a 62-52 victory. (1/19)

"Well, we feel good," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "We don't feel good about the way we played in the second half, but the first half we were pretty doggone good.  We were so active defensively.  We were unselfish and moved it, and did all the things we like to do on the offensive end."

Just over five minutes into the game, the Tar Heels were already up 17-5. Reggie Bullock, who scored 21 points in the first half, started off quickly with the game's first eight points including a pair of threes.

James Michael McAdoo started a fast break with a blocked shot and Dexter Strickland finished on the other end with a layup and foul to put the Heels up 14-4.

Less than a minute later, McAdoo set a screen for P.J. Hairston who drilled a three to give Carolina the 17-5 lead.

The Heels extended the lead to 15 on a Bullock three from the left wing to make it 24-9.

A 9-0 run ended the half for the Heels as they took a commanding 42-20 lead at the break. A Strickland steal and dunk with five seconds left gave the Heels their biggest lead at 22 points.

Maryland played more aggressively in the second half, getting numerous second shots and easy buckets to make a run. But Carolina kept the lead around 15 points most of the second half. The final 10-point margin was the closest it got.

Bullock, who scored only three points in the second half, was able to finish with a career-high 24 points to lead the Heels. McAdoo was the only other Heel in double figures with 19 points to go with two blocks, two steals and 11 rebounds.

Carolina improves to 12-5 and 2-2 in conference play while Maryland, upset winners over NC State earlier in the week, falls to 14-4 and 2-3 in the ACC.


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