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Off the cuff:


Tar Heels 80, Florida Atlantic 56
UNC pulls away in second half, 80-56

Despite being a game that was never really in doubt, North Carolina didn't pull away until the second half in an 80-56 victory over Florida Atlantic. (11/11)

"I didn't like our shooting in the first half," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "In the second half we shot a heck of a lot better."

That's an understatement as the Heels shot just 34 percent from the floor and just 4 of 14 from the free throw line in the first half. After a dressing down in the lockerroom at halftime, the Heels shot 55 percent the rest of the way and a slightly better 8 of 13 from the line.

Williams said he doesn't normally talk about free throws since common wisdom is that it could hurt confidence. But, he figured, how could it get much worse.

It's already apparent that the Tar Heels are relying on sophomore James Michael McAdoo to shoulder the burden of the loss of four starters from last year's team. For the second time in two games, McAdoo accomplished a double-double, this time 19 points and 11 rebounds.

And it's apparent that the UNC freshmen are going to play an intrical part in the success of this year's team. For instance, Brice Johnson scored 12 points while Joel James scored 11 and pulled in eight rebounds. Further, Marcus Paige looked more comfortable running the offense and dishing out the ball, and making defensive calls.

Reggie Bullock added 16 points including 10 early to lead the Tar Heels to a 19-13 advantage.

After a pair of three's by the Owls' Greg Gantt, the score was tied at 19. A 13-5 Tar Heel run, featuring a fast break McAdoo dunk after a Florida Atlantic turnover, gave UNC a 32-24 halftime lead.

Three points by James, including a monster dunk, in the first minute of the second half set the tone quickly. After Paige threw a long lead pass to Bullock for a lay in, the Tar Heels were in command at 37-24.

It never got closer than eight the rest of the way and the lead was up around 13-16 most of the second half. P.J. Hairston, who has been cold so far this season, drained his first three of the season to give Carolina its biggest lead at the time 70-48.

Dunks by McAdoo and James got the margin up to 25 at 74-49 before Luke Davis, who saw more playing time seemingly due to Williams' frustration with Dexter Strickland's shot selection, hit a three to give UNC its biggest lead of the game at 80-54 with 1:15 left.

The Heels travel to tough Long Beach State next Friday, Nov. 16.


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