No. 19 North Carolina 99, Middle Tennessee 49
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) _ Shammond Williams scored 19 points and Serge Zwikker added 17 on Saturday as 19th-ranked North Carolina glided to a 99-49 victory over Middle Tennessee State.
The Tar Heels (13-6) used Zwikker early to establish their height advantage, and Williams canned three 3-pointers early in the second half to pad the blowout. Zwikker also had 11 rebounds.
It was a much easier time for North Carolina against former assistant coach Randy Wiel than last year, when the Tar Heels struggled against Wiel’s North Carolina-Asheville team before pulling away to a 66-49 triumph. Middle Tennessee State (13-9) was playing its sixth game in 12 days, but for the first six minutes, it didn’t appear fatigue was a factor. Relying on their 39 percent 3-point shooting, the Blue Raiders were up 15-14 on Torrey Moore’s 3-pointer at the 14:57 mark.
It might have been there, however, that Middle Tennessee State hit the wall. Their ballhandling and shooting became sloppy and the Blue Raiders missed their next 11 shots, scoring only on Nod Carter’s free throw at 13:42. North Carolina went on a decisive 20-1 run ignited by six straight points by Makhtar Ndiaye. It helped the Tar Heels run up a 45-27 halftime edge and gave those people who came inside on a springlike day a chance to see North Carolina reserves.
Coach Dean Smith sat his starters midway through the second half, and the crowd got its thrills watching the seldom-used reserves mop up. They saw 5-foot-11 Webb Tyndall can a 3-pointer, and ex-prep football standout Terence Newby hit two 3-pointers. Newby finished the game with a dunk at the buzzer.
The crowd saved a lot of its applause for Charlie McNairy, who came to Chapel Hill on an academic scholarship. In one sequence, McNairy twice saved the ball from going out of bounds, and got his one of his two baskets on a tap-in.
Torrey Moore had 14 points for Middle Tennessee State, which went 9-for-32 from 3-point range, and had seven players score five points apiece in shooting 26 percent for the game.
Antawn Jamison had another sub-par game for North Carolina, scoring seven points and getting six rebounds.