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Illini use balanced scoring to down UNC

Dec 1, 2010 - 5:10 AM Champaign, IL (Sports Network) - Mike Davis scored 20 points to go along with 10 rebounds and Demetri McCamey added 17 points and eight assists, as 20th- ranked Illinois downed North Carolina, 79-67, as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Mike Tisdale donated 14 points and five rebounds, Jereme Richmond chipped in with 12 points while D.J. Richardson collected 11 points for Illinois (7-1), which made 50.8 percent of their shots and an efficient 8-of-12 from long distance.

John Henson led North Carolina (4-3) with 16 points and six rebounds, while frontcourt mate Tyler Zeller joined him in double figures with 10 points despite battling foul trouble throughout.

North Carolina relied on its frontcourt in the opening half despite playing the last nine-plus minutes without Zeller, who was forced to sit down with three fouls. Henson's layup with just over 1 1/2 minutes to play pulled the visitors from the ACC within 32-30, and they had a chance to make it a one- possession game again in the closing seconds, but Henson missed a fallaway jump shot off an offensive rebound and Illinois pushed the basketball down the court to Richardson, who buried a trey from the right corner just before the horn.

The Tar Heels were within seven despite not getting a single point from their backcourt in the opening 20 minutes, while the Illini backcourt accounted for 21 of the team's 37 points.

Illinois quickly pushed the edge to double digits, taking a 43-32 lead on Tisdale's jump hook, and the big man stepped outside to drain a three-pointer from the top of the circle for a 52-38 margin with just over 14 1/2 minutes remaining.

A trey by Bill Cole and a slam from Meyers Leonard increased the advantage to 15 points at 58-43 with under 12 1/2 minutes to go. The margin got as large as 16 points on several occasions, but the Tar Heels trimmed the deficit to nine at 75-66 and had the basketball, but couldn't get any closer.

Game Notes

Illinois improved to 5-7 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge...Tuesday night marked North Carolina's first true road game this season. It played three games in San Juan, Puerto Rico as part of a tournament...The teams have split eight all-time meetings...North Carolina made 46.6 percent of its shots, but made just 5-of-15 three-pointers and 8-of-17 from the charity stripe.