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Off the cuff: Luke Maye needed a game like that to get his confidence and aggressiveness back. But it's a shame that it overshadowed Cam Johnson's best game as a Tar Heel.

Johnson is playing more and more as he is worked into the chemistry but he's also playing more because Coach Williams played a smaller lineup longer in this one.

As a result, Johnson, the Pitt transfer, got his first double-double as a Tar Heel with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Big freshman Sterling Manley, while playing only 11 minutes, made the most of his time with nine points and five rebounds.

But it was Maye's night and it's understandable that he's getting all the attention. After all, he had a double-double in the first half with 18 points as the Heels blitzed out to a 50-35 halftime lead.

A 14-1 run early in the game, during which time Maye scored six in a row, set the tone for the rest of the game.

BC scored on its first six possessions of the second half, cutting the lead to eight before Carolina went on an 18-4 run, after which the Eagles never threatened again.

The final points of the game, a short shot from scrappy reserve Shea Rush, gave the Heels their largest lead of the game.

With about 15 seconds left, and seldom-used Tar Heels on the floor, Coach Williams told his players to hold the ball and not shoot. I've said it before but this is probably my biggest pet peeve about Coach Williams. As a former scrub coming in to mob up myself in junior high, I would want a chance to score or get an assist or do something. It's not really running up the score when you have guys out there who average maybe 30 seconds a game. Come on coach, let 'em play. It's fun for the players and the fans, and it's not going to endear you with opposing coaches. They know they aren't your starters or even backups. Let 'em play!

These hard-working reserves need special memories of their own.

Tar Heels 96, Boston College 66
Carolina, Maye responds to blow out BC

After two straight ACC losses on the road, North Carolina took it out on Boston College 96-66 in Chapel Hill. (1/9)

Luke Maye, who has been in a bit of a slump, broke out in a big way with career highs in points (32) and rebounds (18).

"He's worked so hard. He deserves this success," UNC coach Roy Williams said adding that he was sensational. Coach Williams said Maye had felt a little pressure lately after a few sub-par games compared to how he started the season. "I told him you don't have to be like anybody else. Just be Luke."

Some other words from Coach Williams also seemed to inspire Maye. "Coach told me before the game that I needed to be a player," Maye said.

As a result, Maye became the first Tar Heel to score 30 points in a game at the Smith Center since Tyler Zeller did it in 2012.

While Coach Williams said none of the Tar Heels played with heart or a brain in the Virginia game, he told them not to panic but simply play with a high energy level. "Our focus was to play harder and smarter," Coach Williams said. "We needed to bounce back and I think that was a good one."

He was particularly pleased with the overwhelming 58-23 edge on the boards, including 23 offensive rebounds. After turning the ball over 19 times against Virginia, the Heels only turned it over eight times against Boston College, an improved team which was 11-5 with a victory over Duke coming into the game.

"Except for a couple of stretches, we played very, very well," Coach Williams said.

Joining Maye in double figures were Cam Johnson, who had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Joel Berry, who had 13 points and Kenny Williams, who tallied 10 points. Theo Pinson had his usual balanced line with eight points, eight rebounds and five assists.

Big men Garrison Brooks and Sterling Manley got less time on the court as the Tar Heels chose to go smaller. The smaller Maye, Johnson and Pinson crashed the boards and started several fast breaks as the Tar Heels outscored the Eagles 19-2 on fast break points.

Carolina, which travels to Notre Dame (13-3, 3-0) Saturday evening, improves to 13-4 and 2-2 in the ACC.

Box Score

(UNC Sports Information Photo)

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