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Off the cuff: Lehigh hung with Carolina for the first 10 minutes. A 12-1 run put the Heels in command.

But a disturbing 16-7 run drew the Mountainhawks to within three at 53-50. The Tar Heels gave up three three-pointers during the stretch. Despite the bigger, more talented Heels pulling away, fans should keep a close eye on Carolina's perimeter defense.

The state of college basketball today is such that a normally inferior team can get hot from three and cause havoc, if not win the game.

Lehigh hit eight more threes than Carolina. When you have the inside dominance over another team, that's not a problem. But the Heels won't have that dominance in every game.

Ultimately, the Mountainhawks didn't shoot particularly well and some of that was due to solid Carolina defense but the stretches when Lehigh got open looks from three is concerning and something to look out for as the season progresses.

It was good to see Armando Bacot doing what he's supposed to do - control the boards. Bacot attributes his rebounding numbers to the fact that he and his teammates missed a lot of shots.

He wore down defenders, getting them saddled with fouls. Hopefully that's something that will continue even against better teams - and Lehigh isn't bad.

Bacot scored 22 and pulled down 20 rebounds. Coach Davis seems to think that is to be expected. "That's what is required of him - that's what we need from him each game. He is our guy," Coach Davis said.

Carolina 90, Lehigh 68
Heels pull away from Mountainhawks

(Photo by UNC Sports Information)

North Carolina kept getting leads and surviving runs but finally put away Lehigh over the last 10 minutes to win 90-68 behind veterans Armando Bacot and RJ Davis. (11/12)

Bacot and Davis each scored 22 but got to the figure very differently as Bacot hauled in 20 rebounds and Davis popped in three triples.

The Tar Heels , who led by as many as 15 in the first half, found themselves up by only three at 53-50 following a 16-7 spurt by the Mountainhawks. A 14-2 Carolina run pushed the lead back up to 15 and Lehigh never challenged again.

During the Carolina run, transfer Harrison Ingram converted a spinning drive to the hoop and followed that up with a three from the left corner to put the Heels in command at 67-52.

A banked three by sub Rob Landry gave the Heels their largest lead at 90-65 in the last minute.

UNC coach Hubert Davis said the Heels made Lehigh miss shots and attacked the basket, especially in the second half. "That got us to the free throw line and we made the free throw shots," he said. Carolina was 23 of 28 from the line while Lehigh was just three of four.

The Mountainhawks did knock down 13 threes compared to just five for the Tar Heels but the visitors needed 33 shots to get there.

Lehigh's game plan was to use up the shot clock and then drill a three. It worked in stretches but not in the long run.

"They play really slow," Bacot said. "You have to play solid defense against them for 20-23 seconds. I think the experience is going to help us against other teams later in the season."

Carolina's defense managed to hold Lehigh to just 36.6 percent from the field on the day. The Tar Heels were 46.3 from the field but won the game with the free throw shooting and the rebounding edge, 52-31.

Lehigh was led by Keith Higgins' 16 points. Besides Bacot and Davis, Ingram was the only other Tar Heel in double figures with 14 points.

The Tar Heels, 2-0, host UC-Riverside Friday night.

Box score


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