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Off the cuff: Just think how good Carolina can be if the Heels didn't turn the ball over. If you had told me that UNC would turn the ball overe 23 times against a team the calibre of Gonzaga, I would have told you there was no way the Tar Heels would win.

But rebounding dominance, on both ends, and hot shooting outside was enough for the Heels to defeat Gonzaga by a comfortable margin.

Coach Williams said, "If we don't play really, really well, we don't win this game."

He talked about the turnovers, many of which were simply careless passes, but he seemed really happy the Heels shot the ball better. Carolina shot 55 percent for the game but the long-range buckets made it look even better.

Carolina did some good things defensively but Coach Williams pointed out that there were several instances of miscommunications when on the defensive end.

While the Heels shot the ball well, Coach Williams reminded everyone that "the great teams are the ones who guard people."

There will be another tough defensive assignment on Dec. 22 when the Heels face Kentucky. Coach Williams said this season is the most difficult schedule his teams have ever played.

It very well couild be as Carolina's schedule is rated the toughest in the country this year.

Tar Heels 103, Gonzaga 90
Tar Heels shoot down No. 4 Gonzaga

North Carolina used hot shooting from outside and buckets inside after offensive rebounds to defeat No. 4 Gonzaga 103-90 in Chapel Hill as the Zags failed to avenge their national championship loss to the Heels. (12/15)

"We are lethal from inside, outside, mid-range, fastbreaks," said UNC senior Luke Maye, who led the way with 20 points and 16 rebounds. "We have a lot of guys that can knock down shots."

UNC coach Roy Williams, who has indicated in the past that this could be one of his best shooting teams, said he has been waiting for the Tar Heels to shoot like they should. "I tell them that they shoot the ball very well - why don't you do it in the games?" he said.

"We took some weird shots but if the ball goes in the basket it makes things look better," he added.

"We made shots and we rebounded the ball really well."

Carolina had 27 points off offensive rebounds whereas Gonzaga had none.

But it was the outside shot that dazzled the boisterous crowd. Cam Johnson led the way with a season-high 25 points by hitting six of eight three-pointers, several from way out and a couple in key moments.

In the first half, Johnson popped in a three from the right side that gave Carolina its largest lead of the game at 39-22. In the second half, after Gonzaga had cut the deficit to under double digits, Johnson hit a stop and pop three in front of the Carolina bench to push the lead back up to 12 at 81-69.

Johnson all but wrapped up the win with his longest shot of the evening to make it 92-75 as the shot clock was running out with 5:41 left.

As a team the Tar Heels were 13 of 25 from behind the three-point line.

Carolina reached the century mark for the fourth time this year when Kenny Williams slipped a pass to Maye, who scored on a lauup and was fouled. The three-point play made it 102-88 with two minutes left.

UNC point guards Coby White and Seventh Woods combined for 29 points from that position. Woods, who already had a career high in the first half with 11 points, finished with 14. White, who had several highlight plays, perhaps got the biggest ovation when he took a pass after a Maye steal and drained a spread-legged long jumper during a 14-6 UNC run late in the game.

The biggest negative of the game for the Heels was the fact that they turned the ball over 23 times, many of which were unforced errors. But Carolina helped make up for that stat by outrebounding a highly regarded rebounding team by a 42-21 mark.

North Carolina moves to 8-2 while Gonzaga drops to 9-2. The tough games keep coming as UNC plays Kentucky in the CBS Sports Classic Dec. 22.

Box score

UNC's Cam Johnson led the Heels with 25 points. (UNC Sports Information photo)

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