Another demonstrative UNC run (15-2) in the game’s final minutes capped off an easy victory in what was just the Tar Heels’ second outing in 10 days.
Despite the Bulldogs brandishing nearly 15 feet of center in C.J. Walker (7-1) and Kenny George (7-6), Brandan Wright knifed his way to game-highs with 21 points and nine rebounds.
Carolina bested UNCA by 16 boards, including nine on the offensive end which led to a 46-26 Tar Heels’ scoring edge in the paint.
“We had a lot of energy, guys had their legs, and we felt like we could do a lot of things,” said Wright, who, though left off of the ACC preseason sportswriters pick for conference rookie of the year honors, has yet to play in a college game in which he didn’t ring up double figures in scoring.
Tyler Hansbrough and Wayne Ellington added 15 points each.
Reyshawn Terry’s impact resurgence continued as demonstrated by his 13-point outing.
Roy Williams was pleased with his team’s balanced scoring.
“We don’t have bad kids,” he said. “They’re not selfish. The bottom line is it has to be, ‘We can score.’”
With Bobby Frasor missing his second consecutive game with a sore foot and Quentin Thomas out as well, Ty Lawson again made the most of his extended minutes with a season/career-high eight assists and one turnover.
In his last four outings, Lawson’s assist-to-turnover ratio is 26 over five.
Williams said Frasor’s injury was “getting better,” but that he doesn’t expect him to play Tuesday when Carolina returns to action versus Florida Atlantic.
With No. 2 Pitt falling at No. 7 Wisconsin, the Tar Heels (8-1) will likely move up a spot in the rankings next week. UNC doesn’t begin conference play until Florida State comes to Chapel Hill on Jan. 7.
The Bulldogs (4-6) were led by free-shooting guard Bryan Smithson’s 20 points.
“To be such a good team with young players, there’s no telling how good (UNC) can be,” Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach said.