Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Balanced UNC Blasts Davidson

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Balanced UNC Blasts Davidson

Article excerpt

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. * Nate Britt knew he'd get fewer minutes for No. 9 North Carolina once Marcus Paige returned from a hand injury that had sidelined the senior since preseason.

He's focused on providing a boost when he's out there.

Britt matched his career high with 17 points and North Carolina rolled to a huge first-half lead to beat Davidson 98-65 on Sunday.

The junior played just 10 minutes in Paige's debut earlier this week, tallying five points and three assists in a win against No. 2 Maryland. He played longer stretches with the Tar Heels up huge from the start Sunday, making six of eight shots and two of three 3- pointers in 16 minutes.

"I've always felt like I have to be efficient," Britt said. "I know my role is not to take a bunch of shots on the offensive end. I'm just kind of knocking down open shots and taking whatever is there."

Justin Jackson added 15 points to help the Tar Heels (7-1), who scored the first 10 points and led by 25 before the break. They shot 51 percent for the game and led by at least 20 points throughout the second half.

Britt led five players in double figures, including Paige (13) and backcourtmate Joel Berry II (11 points).

"My first game back, (Nate's) minutes were down," Paige said. "He said he wasn't worried about it. I talked to him about it and said, 'No matter how the rotation goes, you're still a really key part of this team.'"

Davidson had its first 5-0 start since the 1968-69 season and was coming off a 109-74 win against Charlotte in which junior Jack Gibbs scored a career-high 41 points on 14-for-17 shooting.

But Davidson made just eight of 34 shots (24 percent) and three of 16 3-point tries in the opening half as the game quickly got away. Gibbs finished with 19 points on seven-for-20 shooting to lead Davidson, which shot 34 percent.

"North Carolina knocked us on our heels in the opening minutes of the game," Wildcats coach Bob McKillop said. …

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