Bahamas Bounce Back

NASSAU, Bahamas – North Carolina wrapped up its first Bahamas trip of the 2014-15 season with a 109-52 exhibition victory over the Bahamas All-Stars on Saturday.

BOX SCORE
There was some question as to whether or not UNC’s second game of the 6th Annual BTC “Summer of Thunder” Classic would take place at the Sir Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium. The All-Stars were evidently working on island time, as the first three players didn’t arrive at the facility until five minutes prior to the 5pm scheduled tip-off.

It was clear early, however, that an adequate warm-up period wouldn’t have changed the outcome for the All-Stars as UNC built a 30-10 lead on the back of a 16-0 run. The Tar Heels shot 78.9 percent (15-of-19) in the first quarter and increased their lead to 50-20 at halftime.

Sophomore forward Isaiah Hicks led UNC in scoring with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting and also grabbed seven rebounds. Freshman wing Justin Jackson added 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting and senior forward Desmond Hubert converted all six of his field goal attempts to score 12 points to go along with his seven rebounds.

Saturday’s outcome provided a stark contrast to UNC’s 84-83 loss to the Providence Storm on Friday.

“I thought we would be much more focused today and I think we were,” UNC head coach Roy Williams said after the game. “Desmond and Isaiah both played well for us.”

UNC shot 62.3 percent (48-of-77) from the floor, 53.8 percent from 3-point range (7-of-13) and 50 percent (6-of-12) from the free throw line. The Tar Heels had twice as many assists (28) as turnovers (14).

“The kids feel better about themselves,” Williams said. “We shared the ball more [and] we shot the ball better from the 3-point line. We shot the ball better a lot of times because we made better passes.”

Abel Joseph paced the All-Stars with 16 points on 6-of-18 shooting. Dionte Smith added 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting.

The All-Stars, playing with just one legitimate post player, shot 30 percent on 21-of-70 shooting. The Tar Heels outrebounded their opponent by a 53-19 margin, including a 19-13 edge on the offensive glass.

Brice Johnson, who sprained his right ankle on Friday, started the game and played seven minutes. The junior forward scored six points on 3-of-4 shooting and pulled down three rebounds.

“I wanted to give Brice a couple of minutes to start with just to show him that he could play without things being perfect,” Williams said. “And he told me in the locker room that it was good for him.”

Williams started Marcus Paige (9 pts, 3/3 FG), Theo Pinson (7 pts, 3/5 FG), J.P. Tokoto (8 pts, 4/6 FG), Johnson and Hubert, although freshman guard Joel Berry (7 pts, 3/9 FG) logged the most minutes for UNC with 19.

The Tar Heels will return to Chapel Hill on Monday ahead of the start of class on Tuesday. UNC will once again travel to the Bahamas over Thanksgiving to participate in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament on Nov. 26-28.

 

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