No. 11 North Carolina crushes Western Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina kept shooting — and making — long-range shots Wednesday night.
The No. 11 Tar Heels were on a record pace with 16 3-pointers in a 104-61 rout of visiting Western Carolina at the Smith Center.
“We were bigger, stronger, quicker. We were more gifted and made a bunch of shots,” coach Roy Williams said. “I’d like to have saved a bunch of those.”
Six Tar Heels scored in double figures, led by reserve guard Jalek Felton with 15 points.
The 72.7 percent (16-for-22) shooting on 3-pointers is a school record when the Tar Heels have taken more than 20 attempts. The 16 successful 3-pointers came one away from a school record.
Felton topped the perimeter shooters, going 4 for 4 on 3s. He led the team in scoring for the first time.
“The first two were pretty good so I figured the next two were going to go in, too,” Felton said.
The Tar Heels were 8 for 11 on 3-pointers in each half.
Kenny Williams, who was 3 for 3 from beyond the arc in the first half, poured in 13 points and Luke Maye and Joel Berry both scored 12 for the Tar Heels (9-1). North Carolina reserves Andrew Platek (11) and Brandon Robinson (10) also contributed.
Maye, who pulled in 12 rebounds, has six double-doubles this season. The junior forward also tied a career high with five assists.
North Carolina, which shot 56.9 percent from the field, won its fourth game in a row in an eight-day period.
“Everything looks great when the ball goes in,” Roy Williams said. “They caught us on a bad night for them, but a great night for us.”
Western Carolina coach Larry Hunter praised the shooting display from the Tar Heels.
“They were draining just about everything they shot both halves,” he said. “If they shoot like that, I told Coach (Williams) after the game, they are going to be a tough out for a lot of people. I was really impressed with that.”
Deriece Parks’ 13 points and Marc Gosselin’s 10 points paced Western Carolina, which has been blown out by three ranked opponents this season. The Catamounts (3-7) also lost at Cincinnati and at Minnesota.
“They are all very good teams,” Hunter said. “Certainly, I think Carolina played us the best of any of the three of them.”
The Tar Heels shot 64.3 percent from the field, including 8 of 11 on 3-pointers, in building a 53-26 halftime lead.
Western Carolina scored the game’s first five points before North Carolina racked up the next 13. The Tar Heels were up 25-8 midway through the first half and then took off on a 20-0 run.
The Tar Heels hadn’t had such a spurt since last year’s home romp past North Carolina State.
Western Carolina forward Mike Amius, whose dunk in the final seconds provided the winning points against Appalachian State earlier in the week, didn’t score until a dunk about four minutes into the second half.
NOTES: This marked only the second meeting between the teams, with North Carolina winning in January 1957 when it was ranked No. 1. That game was in Cullowhee, a home game for Western Carolina. ... The Catamounts fell to 3-33 against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. ... Former North Carolina F Jackson Simmons was recognized before the game. He is the director of basketball operations for Western Carolina. ... North Carolina announced that backup G Seventh Woods has a stress fracture in his right foot, and he will be out indefinitely. This was the third consecutive game he missed. ... Western Carolina is home Friday night against Southern Wesleyan. North Carolina is off until a Dec. 17 visit to Tennessee.