Tar Heels Ring In New Year In Style, Deliver Seahawk Smackdown
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With the win, Carolina improved to 10-3 on the season while UNC-W dropped to 6-9.
The Tar Heels came into this contest with a little more motivation and determination, getting its offense going and delighting the Tar Heel faithful with some electrifying baskets around the rim against the defenseless Seahawks.
The leading scorer for UNC was James Michael McAdoo with 23 points, but J.P. Tokoto thrilled the crowd with stunning aerial assaults on the basket. Tokoto finished with 5 points while Brice Johnson provided a nice offensive boost with 15 points.
The Tar Heels won the opening tip-off, but a J.P. Tokoto jumper fell just short. But he earned a trip to the free throw line on an ensuing possession and netted one of two to score the first points of the game.
Carolina was playing some aggressive defense early on to bog down the Seahawk offense. Nate Britt knocked down a floater to stake UNC to a 3-0 lead with 16:30 on the first half clock.
A foul on McAdoo sent Cedrick Williams to the charity stripe with 15:22 left in the half. And Williams made both.
McAdoo responded with a pair of quick buckets highlighted by an explosive dunk to give UNC a 7-2 lead. Isaiah Hicks joined the scoring fray with a make of his own soon after.
The shared scoring continued as Brice Johnson nailed a solid jumper to extend Carolina’s lead to 12-5 with 11:03 left in the half.
Leslie McDonald slashed one through the nets to give UNC the 14-9 lead with under nine minutes to go in the half. And the Carolina defense continued to play hard, although aided by some poor shooting from UNC-W.
A timeout was called with 7:23 left to go in the half. Carolina was cruising along with a double-up score, 18-9.
McAdoo ran the distance of the floor on a breakway layup that pumped up the quieter than normal Dean Dome crowd. Paige followed that up with a long-range three that found nothing but net to give the Tar Heels a 23-13 lead with 3:40 left in the half.
Williams pummeled his way back to the line for UNCW and made the point after attempt. UNC’s Johnson answered right back with a quick score though, and McDonald drew a foul to put up another point on the scoreboard that then read 26-16 in favor of Carolina.
At the 1:52 timeout, the Tar Heels maintained a 28-16 advantage. UNC was beginning to pick up the offensive pace. Johnson scored inside out of the timeout and drew a foul, converting on the free throw to extend his team’s lead to 15.
At the half, UNC went into the locker room up 31-23. UNC was shooting 40 percent from the floor while UNCW was shooting at a mere 25 percent clip.
James Michael McAdoo was the leading scorer for Carolina at the half with eight points while Cedrick Williams led the way for UNCW with 12 points.
The second half saw UNC increase its intensity level and click on all cylinders offensively with varied plays and a distribution of points throughout the team. Tokoto’s explosive dunk fired up the Dean Dome.
With 12:20 to play in the game, Carolina held a 49-32 lead over Buzz Peterson’s team.
Paige knocked down a shot to stake Carolina out to a wide 51-32 advantage. The lone bright spot for the Seahawks was Williams, who continually forced the action inside.
McAdoo was proving to be a dominant force in this contest as he scored again to give UNC a 57-37 lead. But the loudest roars were reserved for Tokoto with his high-flying, acrobatic slams.
McDonald popped his trademark three to extend the UNC lead out to 64-37 with 7:06 left on the clock.
McAdoo continued his strong play down the stretch, getting to the free throw line and exerting himself inside. Johnson continued to add some offensive support of his own, pushing the Tar Heel lead out to 76-43 with 4:30 remaining in the game.
In the end, Carolina was far too much for the overmatched Seahawks. UNC played like the ACC season was upon them. Carolina faces Wake Forest Sunday.
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