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Off the cuff: Considering the Tar Heels' impressive 26-point halftime margin, UNC coach Roy Williams was a bit of a Debbie Downer in the post-game interview.

"There was a lot of negative stuff out there," he said.

Coach Williams, perhaps playing a mental game with the players, is certainly correct that there is plenty to correct. And his emphasis on improving the defense is warranted.

But the Tar Heels overpowered the Cardinal in the first half. They shot well and aggressively went to the hoop. Scoring came from a lot of sources. So there are areas that looked good.

Ten players scored and seven of them scored eight or more. In addition to the double figure scorers, freshmen Coby White scored nine, Nassir Little scored eight and Leaky Black scored nine. Black especially looked good hitting all four of his shots and picking off two steals.

Despite the areas to improve, the future is bright for the Heels.

It's fine for Coach Williams to be critical to get the most out of his players. My ongoing gripe with Coach Williams is not allowing the subs to play at the game's end. While the team is well ahead, those guys in at the end of the game don't get to play much and there is really little excuse to have them dribbling out the clock the last 15-20 seconds rather than getting the opportunity to score.

Tar Heels 90, Stanford 72
Heels click early to put away Stanford

North Carolina, already up by double figures early, hit 14 of its last 18 shots in the first half to build a 26-point halftime lead and went on to coast to a 90-72 win over Stanford at home. (11/12)

The Tar Heels never trailed as they got off to a 7-0 early with Kenny Williams, Carolina's senior sharpshooter who had not scored in the first two games, hitting a three-point shot.

After Carolina freshman Nassir Little sank a 15-footer to put the Heels up 22-11 midway through the half, Stanford never got the deficit to single digits.

Up 33-20, UNC went on a 19-6 run to close out the half in control 52-26. The run was highlighted by a high lob by Seventh Woods that was thrown in powerfully by Little and a nifty give-and-go where Cam Johnson scored on a pass from Williams.

The Heels shot a blistering 60 percent in the first half while holding a cold-shooting Cardinal to 35 percent. But in the second half, the shooting reversed as Carolina managed just 39 percent while Stanford shot 57 percent.

The second half, which saw Stanford outscore Carolina by eight points, left a bad taste in UNC coach Roy Williams mouth.

"I'm not happy at all. We've gotta play better defensively," Coach Williams said. "If we want to be really good like we say, we've got to have more pride defensively."

Kenny Williams, who said it was a relief to score (he ended up with 12 points), was upset about the teams's defensive or offensive effort in the second half. "Our energy was non-existent in the second half," he said.

Stanford coach Jerod Haase, who previously was an assistant coach for Carolina, said he went into the game simply wanting his team to compete and he wasn't happy with his team's effort in the first half.

Johnson led four Tar Heels in double figures with 17 points. Luke Maye, who led the Heels with 14 points in the first half, finished with 16 points. Williams and Garrison Brooks added 12 points each.

Carolina outrebounded Stanford 45-35 but the Heels drew Coach Williams' ire by managing only five offensive boards in the second half.

The Tar Heels, 3-0, host Tennessee Tech Friday night.

Box score

UNC's Kenny Williams drives in for a layup against Stanford. (UNC Sports Information photo)


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