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Off the cuff: With tough games against national elites like Butler, UCLA, Florida and, in less than a week, Kentucky, the Tar Heels needed a game like this one against East Carolina.

The Tar Heels dominated the backboards and, while not shooting many threes, shot the ball well.

These games are good for the reserves and for team camaraderie. For instance, the biggest applause from the bench came late in the game when seldom-used Sasha Seymore forced his way between two Pirates for a bucket inside.

Seymore, a senior from New Bern, was the leading scorer and rebounder on the JV team last season.

Tar Heels 108, East Carolina 64
Heels stomp ECU by 33 points

North Carolina beat East Carolina by more than six touchdowns but unfortunately for Larry Fedora it was on the basketball court. The Tar Heels excelled in all aspects of the game to whip the Pirates 108-64. (12/7)

"Needless to say, we played a heck of a lot better than we did Wednesday night," UNC coach Roy Williams said, referring to the loss at home to Iowa. "We invested a lot more in the last couple of days.  Mentally, we were more in the game."

Carolina shot 60 percent from the floor, much of that in the paint, and outrebounded ECU by 22 boards. Led by JP Tokoto's eight assists, the Tar Heels dished out 27 of them compared to just five for the Pirates.

Brice Johnson paced the Tar Heels with 19 points, 13 of them in the first half, and 17 rebounds, six of them leading to second-chances on the offensive end.

Tokoto also had 19 points while Kennedy Meeks added 12 points and 11 rebounds. Nate Britt chipped in 10 as four Tar Heels hit double figures.

East Carolina led 10-9 in the first five minutes before Tokoto found Isiah Hicks on a fastbreak to give Carolina a lead the Heels would never relinquish.

Good ball movement helped the Tar Heels pushed the lead to double digits at 28-18 when a Meeks to Theo Pinson to Britt play got the home crowd rolling.

A Johnson follow shot inside doubled the score on ECU at 42-21 before the Heels settled for a 19-point halftime margin at 48-29.

The Tar Heels scored the first six points of the second half and the Pirates never got closer than 21 again as the Heels poured it on, again with good ball movement.

A pair of Tokoto assists and subsequent trips down the floor put the Tar Heels up by 32 - the largest margin up to that time - at 87-55 with 6:30 left. He first pushed a backhanded back to Johnson for a dunk and then he found Johnson again with a sneaky, no-look pass.

A short jumper by Joel James put the Tar Heels over the century mark and up by 40 points at 101-61 with 2:16 to go.

UNC, now 6-2, play at Kentucky next Saturday, Dec. 13 at noon.


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