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Off the cuff: It's debatable how helpful the game at UNC-Greensboro was for the Tar Heels.

Carolina certainly played well defensively, perhaps its best performance of the year overall, and got out to a big lead early to erase any chance for an upset early. And they did it on the court of the ACC tournament.

But the Tar Heels are still turning the ball over - 17 times in this one - and picking up a lot of fouls. UNC-G didn't really take advantage however - unlike Kentucky - as the Spartans didn't get much after the turnovers and managed to sink only 11 of 26 free throws.

Tar Heels 79, UNC-G 56
Stingy Tar Heels lead start to finish

North Carolina jumped out to a big lead, using a stingy defense and buckets around the baskets, and went on to an easy 79-56 over UNC-Greensboro at Greensboro Coliseum. (12/16)

"We played well early," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "We made too many turnovers (17)."

He praised the play of Carolina big men Kennedy Meeks, who went eight of nine for 18 points, and Joel James, who scored a career-tying 11 points.

On the other hand, UNC's top player Marcus Paige had a rough nice shooting, hitting just one of eight from the floor including zero of five from beyond the arc in the first half.

The Tar Heels managed to hit 49 percent from the floor and held the Spartans to just 34 percent, including just 28 percent in the first half. Carolina also owned the backboards - 51 rebounds (20 on the offensive end) to just 25 rebounds for UNC-G.

Carolina gave up only four points in the first 10 minutes and held a 40-19 lead at the half.

In the second half the Tar Heels got the lead over 30 when Theo Pinson sank a three from the left side and Meeks followed it up with a dunk off a nice pass from Nate Britt to make it 59-28.

The largest lead was 32 when Brice Johnson slammed home a follow to make it 65-33 with 8:30 left.

"There's not a lot to say," Coach Williams said during a fairly quick post-game news conference. "We scored more points than they did."

UNC-G, now 4-7, is coached by former Tar Heel player Wes Miller.

The Tar Heels, now 7-3, play at Chicago against highly ranked Ohio State Saturday at 1 p.m.


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