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Tar Heels 76, Gardner Webb 59
Cold-shooting Heels open with easy win

North Carolina started the season with an expected win over Gardner Webb 76-59, and as expected James Michael McAdoo led the way with 26 points. (11/9)

What wasn’t expected was the Tar Heels’ cold shooting from the outside. It has been expected that the three-point shot would be more prominent in the Heels’ arsenal with experienced long-range shooters.

But Carolina only managed to hit one three in 13 attempts. The triple by Reggie Bullock gave the Heels its largest lead of the game at that point 43-28 less than two minutes into the second half. Sophomore P.J. Hairston missed all five of his three-point shots.

Dexter Strickland, back after missing much of last season with a torn ACL, was back to his slashing-to-the-basket ways in route to 13 points. He and McAdoo were the only Heels in double figures.

Carolina only shot 41 percent compared to 46 percent by the Bulldogs but the Heels got off 16 more shots – many coming on offensive rebounds. UNC outrebounded Gardner-Webb 48-32.

McAdoo led all rebounders with 14. Both his scoring and rebounding totals were career highs for the sophomore. A low-key McAdoo said of his effort, “I thought it was ok.”

The Heels started sloppy with a number of turnovers that kept the game close early but the Heels got the lead to double figures at 32-22 late in the first half and increased the lead from there.

However, after a brief run, the Bulldogs closed to within nine at 63-54 with five minutes left in the game. Leslie McDonald, himself coming off an ACL tear, drained a long two from the corner to stop the bleeding and gave the Heels a 65-54 lead with 4:34 left.

An 11-5 Carolina run ended the game.

“I was disappointed in how we played but not disappointed in my team,” UNC coach Roy Williams said.

Williams said that freshman point guard Marcus Paige, taking over for Kendall Marshall, will get better and Bullock will be fine from the three-point line. Bullock ended with just five points on four shots while Paige, considered more of a scorer than Marshall, scored six.

Williams did say it was a good test for the Tar Heels, who host Florida Atlantic Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

“We don’t have a zone defense so it’s hard to practice against a zone,” Williams said. “So, that was good to play against a zone.”


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