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Off the cuff: As former UNC player Wes Miller, now coaching UNC-G, said, it was a tall task to beat the Tar Heels. Literally. The 43-22 rebounding edge may have been the story of the game. But it was expected.

The Spartans were 4-8 coming in and have lost several players to injury and transfer. Still, you could see glimpses of hope and you could see that Miller knows how to play against Carolina.

His players hit three three pointers while Carolina was employing its scramble defense. They hit nine threes on the night and were able to cut the lead to 11 in the second half before.

Carolina's superior height, depth and talent won out, as expected. Now the ACC season begins.


Tar Heels 96, UNC-Greensboro 63
UNC romps in last non-conference game

In a game that never really seemed in doubt, North Carolina went on a 34-12 run over the last 10 minutes to defeat UNC-Greensboro 96-63 in the Tar Heels' last non-conference game of the season. (12/28)

Brice Johnson led the Tar Heels with 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Five other Carolina players scored in double figures - Marcus Paige and Justin Jackson tallied 14 each while Isaiah Hicks added 13 and Joel Berry and Nate Britt chipped in 11 each.

A fastbreak Britt to Hicks layup gave Carolina its first double-digit lead at 15-4 eight minutes in and the lead never got down to single digits again.

A weaving drive by Paige ended in a layup to give the Heels a 24-8 lead with 9:17 left in the first half. A three by freshman Luke Maye from the top of the key gave the Heels a 41-23 lead. A Maye put back at the buzzer gave Carolina its largest lead of the half at 47-28.

UNC-G got hot over the first nine minutes of the second half to cut the margin to 11 at 62-51. It never got closer. After Berry popped in an open three from the top of the key to make it 76-56 with 6:30 to play, the rout was back on.

A pair of threes by Britt late gave the Heels a 31-point lead at 92-61 but the subs couldn't get to the century mark as Carolina settled for 96 points. It's the ninth straight game that UNC has scored more than 80 points.

"I didn't like that they shot 52 percent in the second half," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "But I like that we shot over 50 percent in both halves."

The Tar Heels shot 59.3 percent in the second half and ended the game shooting 55.9 percent. The Heels also had a 43-22 rebounding edge, which Coach Williams said was understandable given his team's height advantage.

Johnson said that improving defensively is the key for this Tar Heel team getting better. "We can't allow teams to shoot over 50 percent in the second half," he said. He says he's been trying to be a little more aggressive with Kennedy Meeks still sitting out with an injury.

Paige, who has been banged up with a sore ankle, played just 21 minutes which was the plan coming into the game.

Coach Williams said it's tough to play games you are expected to win but that the Heels "got through it fine."

Carolina, 11-2, starts the ACC season Wednesday night at home against Clemson.


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