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Off the cuff: For the third time in three games the Tar Heels started off slow. After getting the margin up to 10 in the first half, you'd think UNC would pull away.

But up by only five at the half, the Tar Heels seemed more energetic, especially on defense, in the second half.

Wofford (0-2) is going to be good in the Southern Conference though, especially if the Terriers keep up the long-range shooting. Overall, though, the Heels held them to 35 percent.

By the way, Wofford coach Mike Young took part in Dean Smith's camps when he was a kid and Roy Williams was an assistant at Carolina.


Tar Heels 78, Wofford 58
Strong 2nd half propels Heels to victory

North Carolina shot 57 percent in the second half while holding Southern Conference preseason favorite Wofford to 35 percent to break open a close game and win going away 78-58. (11/18)

The Tar Heels led just 34-29 at the half and with 15 minutes left the lead was down to three at 50-47 with 13:30 to go. Over the next five minutes Carolina went on a 14-3 run with five different players scoring. But back-to-back steals and buckets by Nate Britt put UNC in firm control up 64-50 with eight minutes to play.

Carolina controlled the game inside outrebounding the Terriers 42-25 and outscoring them 50-18 in the paint. Brice Johnson scored 16 points in the paint and hauled down 14 rebounds while Kennedy Meeks scored 16 points inside and pulled in eight boards. Isaiah Hicks added 12 points off the bench.

"In the second half, we took the ball to the basket a lot better," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "We gave a better effort defensively than we did Sunday (against Fairfield)."

Carolina forced contested shots, blocked six shots and came up with 11 steals.

Guard Joel Berry, who had four of those steals, also scored a career-high 16 points. "I was just trying to get the ball down in transitioin as quickly as possible," Berry said.

The backcourt, even without the injured Marcus Paige, was solid. Carolina outscored Wofford in transition 24-2. "I'm trying to step up and take a leadership role with Marcus out," Berry said.

A driving layup late in the game gave the Tar Heels their largest lead of the game for the final 20-point margin.

Wofford, who got 15 points from Jalen Allen, stayed in the game by sinking nine of 24 three-point shots. Meanwhile the Tar Heels could only manage one of nine from beyond the arc.

North Carolina (3-0) travels to Northern Iowa for a 2 p.m. game Saturday. Speculation is that Paige, a native of Iowa, may be in uniform and start the game briefly. He's not expected back to full action for two or three more weeks.


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