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Off the cuff: UNC coach Roy Williams said UNC-Wilmington's coach C.B. McGrath is like a son to him. McGrath, who played for Williams and was an assistant coach under Williams, just didn't have the talent to challenge the Heels.

When the Seahawks were shooting well, they were holding their own but Carolina's defensive pressure got to the visitors and there were a slew of turnovers during the 30-3 Carolina run in the second half.

Coach Williams didn't seem to want to talk about the game much afterward. At the beginning of his news conference, he dwelled on the last few seconds when the seldom-used players were desperately trying to get to 100 points with four straight misses from beyond the arc on the same possession. He blamed it on the biscuits.

Close to the end of the news conference, he wanted to talk about watching the news coverage of President George H.W. Bush's funeral for three hours. And he wanted to tell a story about his contact with Bush. Seems Bush once called Williams but he didn't take the call because he has a policy of not being interrupted with talking with one of his players.

At first he thought it was one of his "nutmeg" friends playing a joke but his secretary convinced him it was the former president. Williams called him back. Bush was trying to get tickets for his grandkids to see a UNC game but he said he respected that the coach didn't take his call the first time.

Williams said that Bush set a good example as a kinder, gentler leader.

Tar Heels 97, UNC-W 69
Without White, Heels make UNCW blue

North Carolina, playing without injured starting point guard Coby White, played with more intensity than it did in a loss to Michigan and wore down UNC-Wilmington for a 97-69 home victory. (12/5)

Former UNC assistant coach C.B. McGrath's Seahawks team hung tough for a while, even leading midway through the first half, but a Tar Heel 17-4 lead later in the first half and a 30-3 run in the second half ended any hopes of an upset.

North Carolina, which led by nine at the half despite nine turnovers, cranked up the defense, coming up with 13 steals and forcing 25 turnovers. UNC coach Roy Williams said his team played with better effort. "Our guys were more active, sweated more," he said. "We were better defensively in the second half. Our traps helped us a little bit."

Seventh Woods, playing point in place of White, scored all seven of his points during the 30-3 clinching run. Carolina was only up by seven when Woods scored seven of the Heels' next nine points.

Cam Johnson, who scored eight during the run, led the Tar Heels with 21 points. Freshman Nassir Little scored 14 while Luke Maye and Kenny Williams each added 11.

But the Tar Heels didn't reach the 50 percent shooting mark and were only six of 24 from beyond the arc. "One of these games we're going to shoot really well. I hope it's in my lifetime," Coach Williams said, adding that he feels like this is a good shooting team but isn't showing it.

Ahead 16-6 early, the Tar Heels went cold and the Seahawks hit six of seven shots to take a 24-22 lead with under nine minutes left in the half. That's when Carolina went on the 17-4 run, highlighted by a pair of threes by Johnson and one by Andrew Platek.

The Heels only got to the foul line four times in the first half but their more aggressive play in the second half led to 24 more shots from the foul line. Unfortunately, Carolina was only 17 of 28 from the line.

With the exam break, the Tar Heels, now 7-2, won't play again until Dec. 15 at home against No. 1 Gonzaga. UNC's White, nuring a bad ankle, should be available for that one.

Box score

UNC's Cam Johnson led the Heels with 21 points. (UNC Sports Information photo)

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