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Off the cuff: Not sure I've seen a game where a team shot so well against the Tar Heels but lost - and lost pretty handily.

Tennessee shot nearly 58 percent in the second half and finished at higher than 55 percent for the game. Meanwhile, Carolina hit about 46 percent for the game.

The Tar Heels got to the line a lot, hitting 32 of 38 including all 16 of their free throw shots in the first half. The Volunteers were 13 of 16 for the entire game.

Carolina led start to finish. Harrison Ingram hit a three to start the game and the Heels never trailed or were tied.

It did get a little hairy in the second half as Tennessee outscored Carolina 53-39 but the Tar Heels had built an insurmountable lead in the impressive first half.

"Everybody was dialed in," UNC's RJ Davis said. "Tennessee is a great team that plays hard. Beating a top-ranked team at home in front of the crowd going crazy was great. A lot of guys stepped up."

What has become the big three - Davis, Bacot and Ingram - each scored more than 20 points each. Cormac Ryan, who sat out the last game with an injured ankle, came through with 15 points and Elliott Cadeau finished with 10 assists and no turnovers.

One player who had a rough night was starter Jae'lyn Withers who won't be a starter for long with efforts like he had against the Vols. In less than 12 minutes of playing time, he turned the ball over three times and failed to score. During the times he was in the game, the Heels were outscored by six points.

I wouldn't be surprised if Carolina went with a three-guard starting team against Florida State with Ryan, Davis and Cadeau joining Ingram and Bacot as starters.

Carolina 100, Tennessee 92
Tar Heels top No. 10 Tennessee


(Photo by UNC Sports Information)

North Carolina raced out to a big lead at home against Tennessee and hung on to top the 10th ranked Volunteers 100-92 in Chapel Hill. (11/29)

The Tar Heels blitzed the country's top defensive team in the first half with 15-2 and 12-2 runs to get up by as many as 23 points and finishing the first half up 61-39.

"I liked our pace offensively," UNC coach Hubert Davis said of the first half efficiency. "We pushed the ball in transition. We were really fast and got layups and dunks and wide open threes. And we got to the free throw line."

Carolina shot 58 percent in the first half from the floor and 100 percent from the foul line, hitting all 16 of its free throws.

"That first half was some of the best basketball I've seen in the 12 years I've been here," Coach Davis said.

In the second half, he got to see some of the best basketball by an opposing player as Dalton Knecht hit eight of his nine second-half shots to help pull the Volunteers from 24 points down to just six at 92-86 with 1:39 to go.

Knecht's 37 points tied Lionel Simmons of Lasalle (1988) for the Smith Center record for an opposition player's scoring.

"Dallas Knecht is a lottery pick," Coach Davis said. "He has size and the ability to score. We didn't have anybody who could stop him."

Tennessee cut the lead to eight with just over eight minutes to go and UNC's RJ Davis responded with a driving layup to get it back to double figures. Then a minute later, with the lead down to seven, Davis responded again with a three from the left wing to once again stretch the lead to double figures.

"I know this team relies on me," Davis said. "I have confidence in times like those."

In additon to Knecht's heroics, Coach Davis attributes the game getting closer to a lack of discipline defensively that led to fouling and the inability to get and take the shots the Heels had in the first half.

RJ Davis led Carolina with 27 points while Armando Bacot had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Harrison Ingram finished with 20. Cormac Ryan, who fouled out, contributed 15 to be the fourth Tar Heel in double figures.

Freshman Elliott Cadeau had only five points but he dished out 10 assists against no turnovers.

The Tar Heels, now 6-1, host Florida State in the first ACC clash on Saturday at 2 pm.

Box score


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