EditorsNote: Minor tweaks throughout
Freshman forward Armando Bacot scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as No. 5 North Carolina fought off Elon for a 75-61 victory Wednesday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.
North Carolina, which trailed by one point at halftime, scored the first eight points of the second half and turned that into a 17-2 stretch.
Garrison Brooks added 14 points for the Tar Heels (4-0). Bacot helped North Carolina produce a 56-25 rebounding advantage.
North Carolina freshman guard Cole Anthony was limited to nine points, though he grabbed 10 rebounds and supplied eight assists.
Marcus Sheffield’s 19 points and Hunter Woods’ 18 paced Elon (2-3), which is winless in three games against Division I teams. The Phoenix shot 31.7 percent (20-for-63) from the field.
Elon ran into foul trouble by early in the second half. Starting forward Simon Wright fouled out with nine minutes remaining.
The Phoenix were within 66-58 on Woods’ 3-pointer with 3 1/2 minutes left and then had a possession with a chance to pull closer.
After a North Carolina basket, Woods hit another trey to make it 68-61.
North Carolina coach Roy Williams, known for hoarding his timeouts, made an uncharacteristic move of calling a timeout at the 17:51 of the first half with his team trailing 8-4. Elon’s Woods promptly hit a 3-point shot for an 11-4 lead.
The Phoenix held leads of 20-11 and 25-18.
Almost 15 minutes passed before North Carolina took its first lead, and even that didn’t last long. The Tar Heels scored nine straight points, but it took a span of almost five minutes to do so.
Elon’s scoring drought of nearly nine minutes didn’t matter as it led 33-32 at halftime.
Elon had six 3-point baskets on 15 attempts by the break after hitting for a total of 6 of 43 from long range in losses at Georgia Tech and Michigan last week.
The game was a rematch from last November, when the Tar Heels visited Elon as the opening opponent in the school’s new arena. North Carolina won that game 116-67. The schools are separated by about 35 miles.
—Field Level Media