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Off the cuff: Monmouth at 10-3 is a pretty good team. They have a speedy guard who can slash to the hoop and they have a slew of guys who can hit threes.

But, let's face it, Carolina was just too talented and skilled. Had it not been for a rain of threes by Monmouth late in the first half, it would have been a big blow out.

The technicals in the second half, including one by Coach King Rice, did sort of end any chance Monmouth had to keep the game close.

Rice, who played for Carolina from 1987 to 1991, seemed embarrassed as he emotionally talked about his Carolina mentors.

Fighting for words, Rice said, "He (UNC Coach Roy Williams) treats me like I'm one of his sons." He added that since he was a kid, Coach Williams has tried to help him.

He also pointed out that former UNC players and coaches - including Jimmy Black, J.R. Reid and Phil Ford - came to the game because he was coaching. He said they and others at Carolina, including Coach Dean Smith, took "a hard-headed young kid and turned him into a man."

He said he was proud to have played for Carolina but it was clear he was not proud of his complaining to the officials, which he said resulted in a technical foul on him and two on his players.

Tar Heels 102, Monmouth 74
Jackson, Heels spoil Rice's homecoming

Former UNC point guard King Rice brought his Monmouth team to Chapel Hill but got a rude welcome from Tar Heel Justin Jackson, who scored 28, and the refs, who slapped him and his players with technicals during a key stretch in North Carolina's 102-74 win. (12/28)

UNC coach Roy Williams recruited Rice to Carolina back in the 1980s and said he was one of the toughest kids he'd ever seen. "He got a little frustrated with the officiating and that took away from what I thought be be a good experience for him," Coach Williams said, calling Rice "a competitive rascal."

Monmouth had cut a 19-point Carolina lead in the first half to just nine at the break, 50-41, after the visitors hit four straight three pointers in the last two minutes of the half.

But in the first few minutes of the second half, two Monmouth players picked up technicals as they lost their cool. And then Rice lost his cool and picked up a technical. During that stretch, the Carolina lead swelled from 10 points to 21 points, and the lead stayed that comfortable the rest of the way.

A tearful Coach Rice fought to get the words out about how he feels about Coach Williams and how he lost his cool.

"I can take losing - I thought it would be closer," he said. "I have to be a better coach and not let other people on the court besides the players affect me so much."

He said that his complaining rubbed off on his players who reacted by losing their cool. Then he finally got his technical after yelling at the officials.

It was the last non-conference game of the regular season for the Tar Heels who improve to 12-2 and start conference play at Georgia Tech Saturday afternoon. But Coach Roy Williams wasn't particularly impressed.

"Well, we won," Coach Williams said. "I wasn't very pleased with much of it - 17 turnovers, 11 in the second half."

He also didn't like that Carolina only scored four fastbreak points while Monmouth managed 14.

Coach Williams said he felt much more confident going into the ACC season after the second half of the Northern Iowa game than he did after the second half of this one.

Williams and some of the players, including Joel Berry, have been fighting a bug and didn't feel well.

In addition to Jackson's 28 points, which included six three pointers, Kennedy Meeks contributed a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Isaiah Hicks scored 15 and Tony Bradley added 10.

There were a total of 56 fouls and 72 foul shots. The Tar Heels were 33 of 46 from the line and shot an unimpressive 43 percent from the floor.

The Heels face off against the Yellow Jackets at noon Saturday.

Box Score

King Rice and Roy Williams.

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