Heels Blow By Canes

- Inside Carolina
Posted Jan 22, 2005


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – North Carolina got just what it needed Saturday night, the first of just two home games in an eight-game stretch and a easy ACC victory in the cozy confines of the Smith Center. The Tar Heels never trailed as they whipped league newcomer Miami, 87-67.

There is no concierge in the House of Dean. Guests this season have been treated to an inhospitable 0-10 record – losing on average by a whopping 30.1 points per game.

  • Box Score
  • Roy Williams Quotes w/Audio
  • Frank Haith Quotes w/Audio
  • Locker Room Report w/Audio
  • Photo Gallery I
  • Photo Gallery II
  • Post-Game Notes
  • The Tar Heels (16-2, 5-1 ACC) biggest lead came on a Sean May basket that put them up 76-49 with 4:35 left to play. However, it was not all smiles in the locker room. Roy Williams and his players are still not fully satisfied. If Carolina hasn’t peaked, the sky could be the limit with its front-loaded conference schedule.

    “I don’t want to be satisfied unless we play well,” Roy Williams said. “At times tonight I thought we played well, but at times I thought we didn’t.”

    Despite the oppressive margin of victory, it was not the most elegant of Carolina basketball triumphs. If UNC had not turned the ball over 19 times and shot better than 5-for-20 from beyond the arc – a season low 25 percent, the Hurricanes (12-5, 3-3) might have been blown back to their Coral Gables campus.

    “It just shows we can win ugly games,” Rashad McCants said. “We’ve yet to play a good game this season…that’s what’s so scary.”

    With 8:38 to play, after Miami had scored three consecutive field goals, an infuriated Williams called time out. But instead of lashing out at his team, as he did in Wednesday’s win at Clemson, he sat on the end of the bench and watched the UNC dance team perform, leaving assistant Steve Robinson to address the troops.

    “I wasn’t trying to send a message,” he said. “I was just about to explode.”

    However the Tar Heels defense was outstanding at times, so good that even their head coach had to admit it.

    “Defensively, we did some nice things,” Roy Williams said in what could be construed as an understatement.

    Carolina’s defense held Miami to 29.4 percent from the field in the first half, enough to overcome its own shooting woes (1 of 11 from 3-pt. range) to take a 40-26 lead at the half.

    For the game, UNC held Miami to 35.8 percent shooting, making it 14 straight opponents the Tar Heels have held to less than 44 percent.

    “We did a great job of not letting them back into the game, but it just wasn’t pretty,” May said. “Coach wasn’t too happy, but we did get a win tonight and that’s all that matters.”

    May, who had shot a mundane 14 of 37 from the field in his last four games, re-emerged with his fourth “double double” of the season -- a team-high 17 points to go with 15 rebounds.

    “I loved Sean May’s work on the boards,” Roy Williams said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well and we’re one of the better shooting teams in the country. They made us miss some shots and we turned it over more than I wanted to, but it’s a ‘W’ in a great league.”

    Jawad Williams and Jackie Manuel each scored 14 points, while McCants and Raymond Felton added 10 apiece.

    It was Williams’ 20th consecutive game in double figures, and Felton needs just 14 more points to reach UNC 1,000-point club.

    “We had a bad offensive game tonight, and we haven’t had a game yet where everyone is clicking,” Felton said. “The sky is the limit when we finally play a complete game.”

    ‘Canes guard Guillermo Diaz led all scorers with a career-high 30 points.

    Next up for the Tar Heels is a trip to Charlottesville for a noon tip-off against struggling Virginia next Saturday.

    “We’ll let some aches and pains heal a little bit,” Roy Williams said. “We’ll probably take [Sunday] off and practice Monday, then take Tuesday off, have a light run and shoot practice on Wednesday and try to practice full on Thursday and Friday.”


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