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Off the cuff: Coach Roy Williams didn't seem overly concerned about Marcus Paige's jammed right ankle but he sat him for precautionary reasons. He tried to go in the second half but came out less than three minutes in.

He has a six-day Christmas break to heal.

Appalachian State actually out-rebounded the Tar Heels, 18-16, in the first half but in the second half the Tar Heels controlled the boards, 31-13, for a final 47-31 rebounding edge.

Carolina forced 19 turnovers and scored a season-high 31 points off those turnovers. It was the second consecutive game that the Tar Heels posted a season high in points off turnovers. UNC scored 24 points off turnovers vs. UCLA on Saturday.


Tar Heels 94, UCLA 70
Berry, Johnson lead Heels over App. St.

North Carolina moved to 10-2 with a relatively easy victory at home over Appalachian State 94-70 as Brice Johnson tallied 22 points and Joel Berry dished out 11 assists. (12/22)

The Tar Heels needed a good night from a guard as Marcus Paige, hobbled by a right ankle injury, played just 17 minutes. Berry also scored 11 points. Also, guards Nate Britt and Theo Pinson came off the bench to combine for 14 points.

But it was Johnson who set the tone early as he made his first five shots, including two dunks, in the first three and a half minutes. Johnson hit a pair of free throws late in the first half to give the Heels their largest lead of the half at 41-26.

In the second half, a Berry jumper upped the margin to 19 points at 60-41 fewer than four minutes in. A Britt three-pointer gave Carolina its first 20-point lead at 76-56 midway through the second half.

The largest lead of the game came with just 2:31 left when Justin Jackson hit a jumper to make it 91-64 for a 27-point advantage.

The final points of the game came on a fastbreak layup by Junior Kanler Coker, a former backup quarterback on the football team, for his first points as a Tar Heel.

"We didn’t come out defensively and execute at the beginning of the game, and I thought it got some of their guys going," said Appalachian State coach Jim Fox. "I thought we got better as time went on, and then at the end, I just thought they kept going inside on us, and it wore us out."

Johnson said he and his teammates had a size advantage. "That was one thing that Coach [Williams] wanted to emphasize, to take the ball inside and use our size against them, since they weren’t a very big team down there." he said. "That’s one of our biggest things – we want to get the ball inside and kick it back out if we can’t get anything.”

Big man Isaiah Hicks came off the bench to score 12 while starting forward Justin Jackson scored 12 and hauled in 10 rebounds. Freshman Luke Maye saw the most action he's seen this season with 12 minutes of playing time and he took advantage of it. He scored a season-high seven points and pulled down five rebounds.

The Mountaineers stayed within striking distance, 49-38 at the half, due to rebounding. The visitors had nine points off offensive rebounds compared to just six for the Heels in the first half. But in the second half, the Tar Heels did a better job as they scored 19 points off offensive rebounds, compared to just six for Appalachian State.

Carolina, 10-2, take a Christmas break and return to action Monday, Dec. 28 at home against UNC-Greensboro.


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