UNC
PITT

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Cameron Johnson scores 15 points, No. 15 UNC tops Pitt 85-60

PITTSBURGH (AP) North Carolina forward Cameron Johnson knew the boos were coming. Expected them actually. It's part of the deal when you leave one school for another. So when the Pittsburgh's ''Oakland Zoo'' student section politely let the former Panther have it during pregame introductions on Saturday, he took it as a bit of a compliment.

''No hard feelings on my end,'' Johnson said with a shrug.

Besides, the boos faded quickly. Johnson helped make sure of it, hitting his first three shots on his way to 15 points and nine rebounds as the 15th-ranked Tar Heels opened Atlantic Coast Conference play with a lopsided 85-60 victory.

Johnson grew up in the Pittsburgh suburbs and spent three seasons at Pitt. He graduated in the spring of 2017 and asked for his release. The Panthers initially balked at Johnson transferring to a conference rival but gave in after Johnson went public with the request . Johnson is flourishing for the Tar Heels, where he's evolved into more than a 6-foot-8 spot-up shooter.

He provided the proof in front of 25 friends and family, many of whom rose out of their seats behind the North Carolina bench each time he touched the ball. The signature play came at the end of the first half when teammate Leaky Black chased down a Pitt miss and found Johnson, who took two dribbles to midcourt and hit a streaking Coby White for a layup at the buzzer.

''I just feel like I'm a little better overall physically, a little more fine-tuned,'' Johnson said. ''As I keep getting older, I keep getting a little better and more experienced, so I feel like that's all added up for me.''

White led the Tar Heels with 22 points, Luke Maye added 17 points and 11 rebounds and North Carolina used a 16-0 run in the first half to subdue the first sellout crowd at the Petersen Events Center in nearly two years.

''I just think we locked down on defense,'' White said. ''We got out in transition and we ran our sets and we just played harder and with a lot of effort.''

Something that has been spotty at best during North Carolina's uneven nonconference season. Yet the Tar Heels had little trouble against the young and undersized Panthers (10-4, 0-1), who are in the midst of a massive rebuild under first-year coach Jeff Capel.

Trey McGowens scored 17 points and fellow freshman Xavier Johnson chipped in 14 for the Panthers, who lost their 23rd straight regular-season ACC game. The Panthers shot just 31 percent (19 of 62) from the field and struggled to get into any kind of rhythm. Pitt turned it over 15 times, made only 2 of 19 3-pointers and couldn't keep up once the adrenaline wore off.

''We have to work a lot harder to get better, that's the thing,'' Capel said. ''What we did in the nonconference was good for the nonconference. We have to play good consistently, not just for a 12-minute period. Have to do it for an extended period for us to win in this league.''

Reality hit the Panthers about halfway through the first half. Au'Diese Toney's tip-in for Pitt trimmed North Carolina's lead to 15-14 with 11:58 to go before the break, but the Panthers wouldn't make another shot for more than 10 minutes. By the time McGowens ended the Panthers' dry spell with a 3-pointer, North Carolina led by 21.

''They hit us in the mouth and we never fought back, we never hit back (during that) stretch they took the lead,'' Pitt's Malik Ellison said. ''We let missing shots affect our defense and we can't let that happen.''

BIG PICTURE

North Carolina: The Tar Heels can be hit or miss with their defensive intensity but overwhelmed the Panthers once the early adrenaline wore off. The Tar Heels will need to muster it more often against better opponents. ''I liked our poise because the crowd really did get into it early,'' coach Roy Williams said.

Pitt: Even with large swaths of light blue in the arena, that the Panthers were able to fill The Pete offers tangible proof of the optimism Capel has brought to the table in his first few months on the job. Turning that optimism into ACC wins, however, is another matter. The Panthers played hard but their offensive weaknesses and lack of size were exploited at will by the bigger, deeper and more talented Tar Heels.

UP NEXT

North Carolina: Visits in-state rival North Carolina State on Tuesday.

Pitt: Welcomes Louisville on Wednesday.

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1st Half

Time Team Play Score
20:00   Jumpball received by North Carolina  
19:54   Kenny Williams missed jump shot  
19:52   Defensive rebound by Jared Wilson-Frame  
19:46   Au'Diese Toney missed layup  
19:44   Defensive rebound by Luke Maye  
19:37 +3 Coby White made 3-pt. jump shot 3-0
19:24   Xavier Johnson missed floating jump shot  
19:22   Defensive rebound by Cameron Johnson  
19:01 +3 Cameron Johnson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Garrison Brooks 6-0
18:42   Au'Diese Toney missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:40   Offensive rebound by Kene Chukwuka  
18:40   Personal foul on Kenny Williams  
18:29   Lost ball turnover on Au'Diese Toney, stolen by Garrison Brooks  
18:15   Kenny Williams missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:13   Defensive rebound by Xavier Johnson  
18:05 +2 Xavier Johnson made driving layup 6-2
17:54   Offensive foul on Coby White  
17:54   Turnover on Coby White  
17:46   Shooting foul on Cameron Johnson  
17:46 +1 Kene Chukwuka made 1st of 2 free throws 6-3
17:46 +1 Kene Chukwuka made 2nd of 2 free throws 6-4
17:43   Personal foul on Xavier Johnson  
17:34   Personal foul on Kene Chukwuka  
17:27   Coby White missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:25   Defensive rebound by Terrell Brown  
17:21   Jared Wilson-Frame missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:19   Defensive rebound by Cameron Johnson  
17:13   Kenny Williams missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:11   Offensive rebound by Garrison Brooks  
17:05   Personal foul on Jared Wilson-Frame  
16:51 +2 Cameron Johnson made driving layup 8-4
16:35   Jared Wilson-Frame missed 3-pt. jump shot  
16:33   Defensive rebound by Luke Maye  
16:29   Luke Maye missed jump shot  
16:27   Defensive rebound by Pittsburgh  
16:06 +2 Xavier Johnson made layup 8-6
15:59   Lost ball turnover on Coby White, stolen by Trey McGowens  
15:48 +2 Xavier Johnson made driving dunk 8-8
15:38   Shooting foul on Au'Diese Toney  
15:38 +1 Luke Maye made 1st of 2 free throws 9-8
15:38 +1 Luke Maye made 2nd of 2 free throws 10-8
15:26   Terrell Brown missed dunk, blocked by Luke Maye  
15:24   Defensive rebound by Luke Maye  
15:11 +2 Garrison Brooks made hook shot, assist by Coby White 12-8
14:47   Personal foul on Garrison Brooks  
14:32   Personal foul on Kenny Williams  
14:28   Personal foul on Seventh Woods  
14:22   Personal foul on Luke Maye  
14:22 +1 Xavier Johnson made 1st of 2 free throws 12-9
14:22 +1 Xavier Johnson made 2nd of 2 free throws 12-10
13:55   Luke Maye missed jump shot  
13:53   Defensive rebound by Pittsburgh  
13:41   Malik Ellison missed layup  
13:39   Offensive rebound by Malik Ellison  
13:40 +2 Malik Ellison made dunk 12-12
13:40   Shooting foul on Andrew Platek  
13:40   Malik Ellison missed free throw  
13:40   Defensive rebound by Nassir Little  
13:32   Nassir Little missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:30   Defensive rebound by Khameron Davis  
13:30   Jumpball received by Pittsburgh  
13:04   Malik Ellison missed layup  
13:02   Defensive rebound by Luke Maye  
12:56 +3 Cameron Johnson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nassir Little 15-12
12:25   Malik Ellison missed jump shot  
12:23   Defensive rebound by Seventh Woods  
12:19   Seventh Woods missed layup, blocked by Terrell Brown  
12:17   Defensive rebound by Terrell Brown  
12:13   Jared Wilson-Frame missed driving layup, blocked by Nassir Little  
12:13   Offensive rebound by Pittsburgh  
12:01   Trey McGowens missed layup  
11:59   Offensive rebound by Au'Diese Toney  
11:57 +2 Au'Diese Toney made tip-in 15-14
11:50   Shooting foul on Au'Diese Toney  
11:50 +1 Brandon Robinson made 1st of 3 free throws 16-14
11:50   Brandon Robinson missed 2nd of 3 free throws  
11:50 +1 Brandon Robinson made 3rd of 3 free throws 17-14
11:36   Xavier Johnson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:34   Defensive rebound by Nassir Little  
11:21   Brandon Robinson missed layup  
11:19   Defensive rebound by Khameron Davis  
11:14   Trey McGowens missed floating jump shot  
11:12   Defensive rebound by Cameron Johnson  
11:06   Cameron Johnson missed floating jump shot  
11:04   Defensive rebound by Khameron Davis  
10:49   Lost ball turnover on Xavier Johnson, stolen by Seventh Woods  
10:44   Lost ball turnover on Nassir Little, stolen by Trey McGowens  
10:39   Jared Wilson-Frame missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:37   Defensive rebound by Nassir Little  
10:18 +2 Seventh Woods made jump shot 19-14
9:51   Lost ball turnover on Trey McGowens, stolen by Brandon Robinson  
9:42 +3 Cameron Johnson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Garrison Brooks 22-14
9:16   Trey McGowens missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:14   Defensive rebound by Cameron Johnson  
9:09   Personal foul on Khameron Davis  
8:57   Cameron Johnson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:55   Defensive rebound by Pittsburgh  
8:40   Xavier Johnson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:38   Defensive rebound by Garrison Brooks  
8:22   Luke Maye missed jump shot, blocked by Malik Ellison  
8:20   Offensive rebound by Kenny Williams  
8:15   Offensive foul on Kenny Williams  
8:15   Turnover on Kenny Williams  
8:01   Malik Ellison missed layup  
7:59   Defensive rebound by Garrison Brooks  
7:49 +2 Luke Maye made layup, assist by Cameron Johnson 24-14
7:30   Offensive foul on Jared Wilson-Frame  
7:30   Turnover on Jared Wilson-Frame  
7:11 +3 Coby White made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Leaky Black 27-14
6:46   Out of bounds turnover on Xavier Johnson  
6:34   Cameron Johnson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:32   Offensive rebound by Leaky Black  
6:26   Nassir Little missed layup, blocked by Terrell Brown  
6:24   Defensive rebound by Khameron Davis  
6:27   Personal foul on Nassir Little  
6:27   Trey McGowens missed 1st of 2 free throws  
6:27   Trey McGowens missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
6:27   Defensive rebound by Cameron Johnson  
6:14   Coby White missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:12   Offensive rebound by Cameron Johnson  
6:14   Personal foul on Khameron Davis  
6:14   Cameron Johnson missed free throw  
6:14   Defensive rebound by Malik Ellison  
6:07   Out of bounds turnover on Trey McGowens  
5:49 +3 Luke Maye made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Leaky Black 30-14
5:26   Au'Diese Toney missed layup, blocked by Luke Maye  
5:24   Defensive rebound by Cameron Johnson  
5:20   Shooting foul on Terrell Brown  
5:20 +1 Nassir Little made 1st of 2 free throws 31-14
5:20   Nassir Little missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
5:20   Defensive rebound by Trey McGowens  
5:19   Personal foul on Nassir Little  
5:19 +1 Trey McGowens made 1st of 2 free throws 31-15
5:19 +1 Trey McGowens made 2nd of 2 free throws 31-16
4:57   Out of bounds turnover on Leaky Black  
4:37   Lost ball turnover on Malik Ellison, stolen by Garrison Brooks  
4:19 +2 Coby White made jump shot, assist by Nassir Little 33-16
4:12   Traveling violation turnover on Xavier Johnson  
4:01 +3 Coby White made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Leaky Black 36-16
3:39   Jared Wilson-Frame missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:37   Offensive rebound by Au'Diese Toney  
3:30   Au'Diese Toney missed tip-in  
3:28   Defensive rebound by Garrison Brooks  
3:30   Bad pass turnover on Coby White, stolen by Jared Wilson-Frame  
3:06   Au'Diese Toney missed jump shot  
3:04   Defensive rebound by Luke Maye  
2:59   Luke Maye missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:57   Offensive rebound by Luke Maye  
2:51 +2 Garrison Brooks made layup, assist by Luke Maye 38-16
2:51   Shooting foul on Terrell Brown  
2:52 +1 Garrison Brooks made free throw 39-16
2:36   Personal foul on Luke Maye  
2:37   Terrell Brown missed 1st of 2 free throws  
2:37 +1 Terrell Brown made 2nd of 2 free throws 39-17
2:22 +2 Leaky Black made jump shot 41-17
2:09   Terrell Brown missed layup  
2:07   Defensive rebound by Garrison Brooks  
1:43   Coby White missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:41   Offensive rebound by Cameron Johnson  
1:35   Cameron Johnson missed dunk  
1:33   Defensive rebound by Trey McGowens  
1:29 +3 Trey McGowens made 3-pt. jump shot 41-20
1:23   Cameron Johnson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:21   Defensive rebound by Terrell Brown  
1:15   Personal foul on Leaky Black  
1:15 +1 Trey McGowens made 1st of 2 free throws 41-21
1:15 +1 Trey McGowens made 2nd of 2 free throws 41-22
1:10   Personal foul on Trey McGowens  
1:10 +1 Coby White made 1st of 2 free throws 42-22
1:10 +1 Coby White made 2nd of 2 free throws 43-22
58.0   Shooting foul on Garrison Brooks  
58.0 +1 Au'Diese Toney made 1st of 2 free throws 43-23
58.0   Au'Diese Toney missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
58.0   Defensive rebound by Walker Miller  
37.0   Coby White missed 3-pt. jump shot  
33.0   Defensive rebound by Pittsburgh  
8.0   Jared Wilson-Frame missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6.0   Defensive rebound by Leaky Black  
1.0 +2 Coby White made finger-roll layup, assist by Cameron Johnson 45-23
0.0   End of period  

2nd Half

Time Team Play Score
19:42   Garrison Brooks missed hook shot  
19:40   Defensive rebound by Kene Chukwuka  
19:32   Xavier Johnson missed layup, blocked by Coby White  
19:30   Defensive rebound by Coby White  
19:27   Lost ball turnover on Coby White, stolen by Xavier Johnson  
19:27   Traveling violation turnover on Xavier Johnson  
19:15   Personal foul on Au'Diese Toney  
18:56 +2 Coby White made layup, assist by Luke Maye 47-23
18:41   Au'Diese Toney missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:39   Defensive rebound by Coby White  
18:20   Garrison Brooks missed hook shot  
18:18   Offensive rebound by Garrison Brooks  
18:15   Garrison Brooks missed dunk, blocked by Kene Chukwuka  
18:13   Defensive rebound by Kene Chukwuka  
18:13   Shooting foul on Kenny Williams  
18:13 +1 Trey McGowens made 1st of 2 free throws 47-24
18:13 +1 Trey McGowens made 2nd of 2 free throws 47-25
17:54 +3 Brandon Robinson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Coby White 50-25
17:38 +2 Jared Wilson-Frame made reverse layup, assist by Kene Chukwuka 50-27
17:17   Coby White missed layup  
17:15   Offensive rebound by Coby White  
17:12 +2 Coby White made dunk 52-27
17:04   Xavier Johnson missed layup  
17:02   Defensive rebound by Garrison Brooks  
16:57   Luke Maye missed driving layup  
16:55   Offensive rebound by Brandon Robinson  
16:57   Personal foul on Jared Wilson-Frame  
16:50   Luke Maye missed hook shot  
16:48   Defensive rebound by Terrell Brown  
16:42   Lost ball turnover on Xavier Johnson, stolen by Brandon Robinson  
16:35   Seventh Woods missed layup  
16:35   Defensive rebound by Trey McGowens  
16:35   Personal foul on Luke Maye  
16:14   Au'Diese Toney missed layup  
16:12   Offensive rebound by Xavier Johnson  
16:08   Xavier Johnson missed floating jump shot  
16:06   Offensive rebound by Au'Diese Toney  
16:04   Au'Diese Toney missed dunk, blocked by Garrison Brooks  
16:02   Offensive rebound by Pittsburgh  
15:53   Lost ball turnover on Terrell Brown, stolen by Cameron Johnson  
15:53 +2 Seventh Woods made layup, assist by Cameron Johnson 54-27
15:34 +2 Au'Diese Toney made jump shot, assist by Trey McGowens 54-29
15:23 +2 Luke Maye made hook shot, assist by Seventh Woods 56-29
15:06 +3 Jared Wilson-Frame made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Xavier Johnson 56-32
14:41   Personal foul on Trey McGowens  
14:37   Lost ball turnover on Seventh Woods, stolen by Trey McGowens  
14:37   Shooting foul on Brandon Robinson  
14:39 +1 Trey McGowens made 1st of 2 free throws 56-33
14:39 +1 Trey McGowens made 2nd of 2 free throws 56-34
14:22   Nassir Little missed jump shot  
14:20   Offensive rebound by Brandon Robinson  
14:12 +2 Cameron Johnson made layup 58-34
13:52   Shooting foul on Garrison Brooks  
13:52   Trey McGowens missed 1st of 2 free throws  
13:52   Trey McGowens missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
13:51   Offensive rebound by Pittsburgh  
13:39   Jared Wilson-Frame missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:37   Offensive rebound by Jared Wilson-Frame  
13:35   Lost ball turnover on Jared Wilson-Frame, stolen by Brandon Robinson  
13:35   Personal foul on Jared Wilson-Frame  
13:08 +2 Cameron Johnson made dunk, assist by Garrison Brooks 60-34
12:53