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Off the cuff: You'd think when he Tar Heels have five players in double figures and are leading by 16 at the half, that it would be a cake walk.

But Carolina has to play defense and let the opposition get open shots.


Tar Heels 93, ECU 87
UNC starts quickly but holds on vs. ECU

North Carolina, fresh off exams, looked fresh in the first half against East Carolina, running out to a big lead. But the Pirates schooled the Heels in the second half with 61 points. In the end, Carolina held on to a 93-87 victory at home. (12/15)

Former UNC star Jeff Lebo brought an experienced Pirate team to Chapel Hill. The more talented but less experienced Tar Heels had a hard time putting ECU away.

"His team may have played better, closer to their potential, than our team did," UNC coach Roy Williams said.

It was basically a 12-0 early run by the Heels that provided the difference in the game. Up 12-10, Carolina scored 12 straight during a time that the Pirates missed eight straight shots.

The Tar Heels led 42-26 at the half and after extending the margin to 18 looked to run away with it.

But a feisty East Carolina team held tough, hitting 13 of its last 17 shots including four threes late to cut the lead to four in the last minute. Akeem Richmond hit two three-pointes during that last minute.

But UNC's Dexter Strickland canned a pair of free throws to up the margin to six. After a quick ECU score, Carolina's Leslie McDonald finished the Pirates off with a dunk with 10 seconds left.

Williams seemed particularly ticked off that none of his big men got a single offensive rebound on the night. He said it's the first time he can ever remembering that happening. He even went to a five-guard offense at one point.

James Michael McAdoo led five Tar Heels in double figures with 19 points followed by P.J. Hairston who scored 18, Reggie Bullock with 14, Strickland with 12 and freshman J.P. Tokoto who hit all five of his shots for 10 points.

The 8-2 Tar Heels play at Texas Wednesday night.


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