Tar Heels roll over McNeese State, 97-63
Posted December 22, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C. —
FINAL: UNC 97, McNeese State 63: Led by P.J. Hairston's career-high 20 points and five 3-pointers by Reggie Bullock, the North Carolina Tar Heels rolled over McNeese State Saturday, notching a 97-63 win to move to 9-3 on the season.
2nd half, 3:21: UNC 89, McNeese State 57: Eleven Tar Heels have scored, with P.J. Hairston (18) and Reggie Bullock (17) leading the way. North Carolina has hit 12 of its 25 3-point attempts, good for 52 percent, and owns a 48-30 edge on the glass.
McNeese State has stayed even with the Heels in the second half, pulling its shooting percentage from the field up to 38 percent overall with a better effort in the second half.
2nd half, 6:14: UNC 81, McNeese State 53: James Michael McAdoo becomes the fourth Tar Heel in double figures with an old-fashioned 3-point play just before the under-8 timeout. McAdoo has seven rebounds to go along with his 12 points.
2nd half, 11:34: UNC 72, McNeese State 41: Back-to-back 3-pointers from P.J. Hairston have kept North Carolina's lead near 30, and Hairston now leads the Heels with 18 points. He also has a pair of assists and five rebounds.
As a team, North Carolina is 12-of-22 from behind the arc.
2nd half, 15:23: UNC 63, McNeese State 33: An even first four minutes between the Tar Heels and Cowboys to start the second half. Reggie Bullock hit his fourth 3-pointer and now leads North Carolina with 12 points. Leslie McDonald has 11, and P.J. Hairston and James Michael McAdoo will move into double figures on their next buckets.
Halftime: UNC 54, McNeese State 23: Led by Leslie McDonald, Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston, North Carolina got up big early on McNeese State Saturday afternoon at the Dean E. Smith Center. The Tar Heels shot 54 percent from the field and hit eight of their 17 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes.
McDonald is the only Tar Heel in double figures, but nine players have scored and five players have at least six points. North Carolina is also sharing the ball very well, having recorded 18 assists on 20 made buckets.
1st half, 2:39: UNC 45, McNeese State 16: The lead continues to grow for the Tar Heels, who have turned up the defensive pressure on the struggling Cowboys late in the first half. Leslie McDonald leads the way with three 3-pointers and 11 points, and six other Tar Heels have scored. North Carolina is 7-of-14 from 3-point range.
1st half, 7:32: UNC 29, McNeese State 12: Leslie McDonald, Reggie Bullock and Dexter Strickland have combined for 18 of North Carolina's 29 points, and the Tar Heels are running away from the Cowboys. McNeese State's struggles from the field continue, as the Cowboys are shooting just 28 percent from the field and 0-of-4 from the foul line.
1st half, 11:36: UNC 18, McNeese State 6: The hot shooting continues for the Tar Heels, who are 4-of-5 from downtown and lead the Cowboys by double digits. Six players have scored for UNC, with Leslie McDonald's six leading the way. North Carolina is also dominating the glass and owns a 14-7 edge nearly halfway through the first half.
1st half, 15:46: UNC 10, McNeese State 4: Four Tar Heels have scored, and Marcus Paige and Reggie Bullock have both hit 3-pointers early for North Carolina. McNeese State has struggled to find success on offense, shooting just 2-of-8 from the field in the first four minutes.
Pre-game: Three days after losing to the Texas Longhorns by 18 in Austin, the 23rd-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels return to the Dean E. Smith Center Saturday for a noon match up with McNeese State.
In need of a confidence-building win, the Tar Heels (8-3) will likely have their hands full with the Cowboys, who have won five straight games after starting the season 1-3.
McNeese State downed Texas Tech Sunday 80-75, notching its first win over a Big 12 team, and has averaged better than 80 points per game during its win streak.
The Tar Heels, who have been on-again, off-again for the last month, allow a league-worst 70.3 points per game and have surrendered at least 83 points in four of the last five games.
Even in a six-point win over East Carolina a week ago, North Carolina allowed 87 points to the Pirates, including 61 in the second half.
In Wednesday’s loss to the Longhorns, North Carolina shot a season-low 31.3 percent from the field and turned the ball over 18 times. The guard-oriented Tar Heels also struggled from behind the arc, hitting just 3-of-19 3-point attempts.
The Tar Heels' poor shooting performance was more the exception than the rule this season, as they are making 45.3 percent of their field goal attempts for an average of 82.8 ppg, the latter stat ranking in the top-10 nationally
“It was an ugly night for us to say the least,” head coach Roy Williams said.
The formula for the Tar Heels on Saturday may need to be more post-driven, as McNeese State’s starting lineup only includes one player taller than 6-foot-5.
Sophomore James Michael McAdoo (15.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and freshman Brice Johnson (85. ppg, 4.7 rpg) have been Carolina’s most consistent post players so far in a season that has been filled with inconsistency from the group as a whole.
Williams said Tuesday that his young team is still a work in progress.
“I’ve seen a lot of team improvement,” he said. “I think we have a bunch of young kids being challenged more than they’ve ever been challenged and playing at a higher level than they’ve ever played.”