NCWILM
UNC

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No. 14 North Carolina beats UNC Wilmington 97-69

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) North Carolina gave its Hall of Fame coach what he wanted in a dominant second half against an in-state opponent.

The 14th-ranked Tar Heels need it to be the first step during an important month that could give them the chance to sharpen their imperfect play.

Cameron Johnson scored 21 points to help the Tar Heels beat UNC Wilmington 97-69 on Wednesday night, turning a close game into a rout by doing the very things coach Roy Williams has been pushing them to do.

Mainly, that meant playing better on the defensive end, both in harassing ballhandlers and forcing turnovers to get loose in transition. And that made Williams far more at ease than the last time the Tar Heels took the court: last week's double-digit loss at fifth-ranked Michigan.

''The second half, it felt like we were getting after it,'' said freshman Nassir Little, who scored 14 points. ''I was in the passing lane like he wants us to be. I got a steal and dunk. That's something he wants us to get more of. We were boxing out and getting rebounds. He wants us to get out in transition; we were doing that.

''In the second half, I think we really picked it up on what he was asking us to do.''

North Carolina (7-2) led 44-35 at halftime but went on a 30-3 run to blow this one open and finish the game shooting 49 percent.

''It's a W,'' Williams said. ''We did play better.''

Jeantal Cylla had 16 points to lead UNC Wilmington, coached by C.B. McGrath - who spent 14 seasons as Williams' assistant at UNC. The Seahawks (4-6) trailed just 44-39 early in the second half before the shots stopped falling and the Tar Heels got loose in transition to turn the game into a rout.

''The second half was pretty ugly,'' McGrath said.

''We competed in the first half and then a couple of things didn't go our way early in the second half. We got down on ourselves and never recovered.''

BIG PICTURE

UNC Wilmington: Things haven't been easy in either of the Seahawks' games against power-conference opponents this season. They lost Nov. 9 at home against Stanford, and that game got away when they went the last 7 1/2 minutes before halftime without a basket. They hung with the Tar Heels for a half before hitting a similar drought, this time nearly seven second-half minutes. And turnovers were again a problem, with the Seahawks committing 25 that led to 34 points after watching the Cardinal score 28 points off 20 turnovers last month.

North Carolina: The Michigan loss left an angry Williams saying he wasn't doing a good enough job coaching this group to play its best. The good news? The Tar Heels play just four games in December - their fewest since the 1961-62 season under a first-year coach named Dean Smith - so Williams will have plenty of time to massage the flaws out of his team in practice, though players first have to get through a limited schedule in the coming days due to exams.

''There are some things we need to work out and we'll have that practice time now, so I guess we'll see how much of a boost that gives us,'' Johnson said. ''But on the other hand, we kind of know what we need to do.''

AT THE POINT

Seventh Woods had seven points and three assists while starting at point guard with Coby White sitting due to a sore ankle. Woods has 32 assists and 10 turnovers in seven games.

WILLIAMS ON BUSH

Williams said he spent several hours watching coverage of the funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush. Williams also told a story about passing on a phone call from Bush because he had a policy of not interrupting a meeting with a player, then calling him back.

''President Bush was a kinder, gentler person that set an example for what we need to be as a country,'' Williams said.

UP NEXT

UNC Wilmington: The Seahawks visit No. 25 Furman on Dec. 15.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels host top-ranked Gonzaga on Dec. 15 in one of the biggest nonconference games of the college basketball season.

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Key Players
K. Toews
10 G
L. Maye
32 F
28.9 Min. Per Game 28.9
14.0 Pts. Per Game 14.0
1.8 Ast. Per Game 1.8
9.4 Reb. Per Game 9.4
28.6 Field Goal % 43.4
0.0 Three Point % 31.0
Free Throw % 75.7
  Defensive rebound by Trey Kalina 0.0
  K.J. Smith missed 3-pt. jump shot 1.0
  Offensive rebound by Brandon Huffman 8.0
  Shea Rush missed 3-pt. jump shot 10.0
  Offensive rebound by Brandon Huffman 20.0
  K.J. Smith missed 3-pt. jump shot 22.0
  Offensive rebound by Shea Rush 27.0
  K.J. Smith missed 3-pt. jump shot 29.0
  Bad pass turnover on Trey Kalina 37.0
  Offensive rebound by Trey Kalina 39.0
  Jay Estime' missed 2nd of 2 free throws 39.0
Team Stats
Points 69 97
Field Goals 23-63 (36.5%) 37-75 (49.3%)
3-Pointers 8-27 (29.6%) 6-24 (25.0%)
Free Throws 15-21 (71.4%) 17-28 (60.7%)
Total Rebounds 36 49
Offensive 12 17
Defensive 23 31
Team 1 1
Assists 13 23
Steals 9 13
Blocks 1 4
Turnovers 25 15
Fouls 19 19
Technicals 0 0
16 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST
21 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo UNC-Wilmington 4-6 353469
home team logo 14 North Carolina 7-2 445397
Team Stats
away team logo UNC-Wilmington 4-6 77.2 PPG 39.3 RPG 15.3 APG
home team logo 14 North Carolina 7-2 87.5 PPG 45.3 RPG 19.7 APG
Key Players
2
J. Cylla F 14.0 PPG 4.5 RPG 0.6 APG 43.7 FG%
13
C. Johnson G 16.7 PPG 5.5 RPG 2.3 APG 52.4 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Cylla F 16 PTS 6 REB 1 AST
C. Johnson G 21 PTS 5 REB 1 AST
36.5 FG% 49.3
29.6 3PT FG% 25.0
71.4 FT% 60.7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Cylla 16 6 1 6/14 1/5 3/4 1 29 2 1 1 2 4
J. Estime' 12 4 1 4/6 3/5 1/2 3 23 0 0 2 2 2
J. Fornes 9 2 0 4/8 1/5 0/0 2 23 1 0 4 1 1
D. Cacok 6 6 0 2/10 0/0 2/2 4 21 2 0 5 4 2
K. Toews 4 1 4 2/8 0/3 0/0 0 25 1 0 5 0 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Cylla 16 6 1 6/14 1/5 3/4 1 29 2 1 1 2 4
J. Estime' 12 4 1 4/6 3/5 1/2 3 23 0 0 2 2 2
J. Fornes 9 2 0 4/8 1/5 0/0 2 23 1 0 4 1 1
D. Cacok 6 6 0 2/10 0/0 2/2 4 21 2 0 5 4 2
K. Toews 4 1 4 2/8 0/3 0/0 0 25 1 0 5 0 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Taylor 9 6 1 2/8 1/5 4/5 2 16 0 0 4 1 5
T. Gadsden 6 1 3 1/4 1/3 3/4 1 20 2 0 0 0 1
J. Sims 3 1 3 1/2 1/1 0/0 1 13 0 0 0 0 1
S. O'Connell 2 5 0 0/1 0/0 2/4 2 19 1 0 3 1 4
M. Elmore 0 1 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 3 7 0 0 0 0 1
D. Etoroma 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
T. Kalina 0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 1 1 1
J. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Gary - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Linssen - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 69 35 13 23/63 8/27 15/21 19 200 9 1 25 12 23
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Johnson 21 5 1 7/14 3/8 4/4 1 28 1 0 1 0 5
L. Maye 11 9 4 5/11 1/2 0/0 4 22 1 0 3 3 6
K. Williams 11 5 8 4/11 1/6 2/2 4 27 2 0 3 1 4
S. Woods 7 2 3 3/5 0/1 1/4 0 24 2 1 3 0 2
G. Brooks 7 6 3 3/7 0/0 1/4 3 21 0 1 0 4 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Johnson 21 5 1 7/14 3/8 4/4 1 28 1 0 1 0 5
L. Maye 11 9 4 5/11 1/2 0/0 4 22 1 0 3 3 6
K. Williams 11 5 8 4/11 1/6 2/2 4 27 2 0 3 1 4
S. Woods 7 2 3 3/5 0/1 1/4 0 24 2 1 3 0 2
G. Brooks 7 6 3 3/7 0/0 1/4 3 21 0 1 0 4 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Little 14 5 0 5/9 0/1 4/4 1 21 1 0 3 2 3
S. Manley 8 10 0 3/4 0/0 2/5 2 18 1 2 1 3 7
B. Huffman 7 3 0 3/3 0/0 1/1 2 6 1 0 0 3 0
A. Platek 4 0 0 1/1 1/1 1/2 0 11 2 0 1 0 0
L. Black 4 2 3 2/3 0/1 0/0 1 14 2 0 0 0 2
W. Miller 2 0 0 1/3 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
C. Ellis 1 0 0 0/0 0/0 1/2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
S. Rush 0 1 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 1 2 0 0 0 1 0
K. Smith 0 0 0 0/3 0/3 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
B. Robinson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. McAdoo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. White - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 97 48 23 37/75 6/24 17/28 19 200 13 4 15 17 31