No. 9 North Carolina rolls over Stanford
North Carolina was playing far from home Monday at Stanford, Calif., but the large contingent of Tar Heels fans at Maples Pavilion and the strong bond coach Roy Williams has with Stanford coach Jerod Haase had the makings of a comforting setting.
That sense of calm was felt mostly by the North Carolina backcourt duo of Joel Berry II and Kenny Williams, who combined for 49 points while sinking 11 3-pointers, leading the No. 9 Tar Heels to a 96-72 rout of Stanford.
“When we ran out and I heard how loud people were cheering for us, that made me excited for the game because on the road it’s usually just you and the team and that’s it,” said Berry, who scored 29 points, two shy of his career best, making 10 of 19 shots from the field and 5 of 11 from beyond the arc.
Kenny Williams finished with 20 points, all in the first half, hitting 7 of 11 shots and 6 of 8 from 3-point range.
Roy Williams did not feel as comfortable during the game with his pupil, Haase, coaching on the other bench. Haase played three years for Williams at Kansas and coached under him for 13 years with the Jayhawks and Tar Heels.
“This was an emotional day for me ... I‘m talking about Jerod,” Roy Williams said. “It was emotional when I got started on the bench because I looked down and I saw Jerod. I didn’t look at him a single time during the game. After the game, it was tough.”
Berry and Kenny Williams were the only double-figure scorers for North Carolina (3-0) until Luke Maye made a layup with 6:25 remaining in the game. Maye finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Stanford (3-2) was led by Reid Travis’ 21 points. Freshmen guards Isaac White (20 points) and Daejon Davis (10 points and eight rebounds) had promising performances.
“We’re just scratching the surface with what you’ll see Daejon do, and I think you’ll see Isaac get more efficient on the defensive end,” Haase said. “The difference in this game was our free-throw shooting (17 of 28) and the start of the game, with Kenny Williams going nuts. That set the tone. Those two things combined turned into a situation where we got in over our heads.”
Williams made four consecutive 3-point attempts and six out of his first seven tries from beyond the arc to give North Carolina a 26-15 lead with 10:57 left in the first half.
The Tar Heels led 50-36 at halftime as Kenny Williams and Berry outscored the Cardinal by themselves with 38 points. Kenny Williams had 20 points and Berry 18.
The pair combined to make 14 of 22 shots from the field by halftime, including 8 of 13 from 3-point range. Their teammates were 4 of 15 from the field.
Travis and White similarly dominated Stanford’s production by halftime. Each had 13 points combining to shoot 9 of 14 from the field and 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. The rest of the Cardinal was 4 of 14 from the field.
North Carolina, which shot 50.7 percent from the field overall and outrebounded Stanford 42-32, had a double-digit lead throughout the second half. Stanford came no closer than 11 points.
The Cardinal committed 19 turnovers. The Tar Heels outscored Stanford 25-9 in points off turnovers.
NOTES: Stanford coach Jerod Haase transferred from Cal to Kansas in 1993 to play for Roy Williams. Haase started 99 of his 101 games in his three-year Kansas career, where he helped lead the Jayhawks to three conference titles and scored 1,264 points. Haase later spent 13 years on Williams’ staffs with Kansas and North Carolina. ... North Carolina is 11-0 against the Cardinal, including 2-0 in Chapel Hill, 2-0 at Stanford and 7-0 at neutral sites. ... North Carolina has won its last 10 games against Pac-12 opponents, and Roy Williams is 11-1 vs. the Pac-12 as the Tar Heels’ head coach. USC beat North Carolina in Los Angeles on Dec. 21, 2005.