Zeller goes for 23 as Tar Heels get back in win columnNov 24, 2010 - 5:36 AM Chapel Hill, NC (Sports Network) - Tyler Zeller netted a career-high 23 points to lead the 25th-ranked University of North Carolina to an 80-69 win over UNC- Asheville at the Smith Center.
Harrison Barnes scored 13 points with seven rebounds for the Tar Heels (3-2), who halted a two-game skid and will host College of Charleston on Sunday. John Henson added 10 points and 11 rebounds while Dexter Strickland tallied 11 points in the victory.
"I think we're going to be a heck of a lot better at the end of the year," said Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams. It was a good thing Zeller was here tonight. I thought he really did some good things."
J.P. Primm totaled 21 points for the Bulldogs (2-2), who opened a five-game road stint and will next face Georgetown on Saturday afternoon. Matt Dickey posted 15 points in the loss.
"This game is good for us from the standpoint that if we are fortunate to win our league, which is one of our goals, than we will have to play a team like North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament," said Bulldogs coach Eddie Biedenbach. "So this is really good experience for us."
The action was tight in the early going, but midway through the first half, the Tar Heels used a 7-0 run to moved ahead 18-13. Leslie McDonald's jumper gave the hosts a 16-13 edge before Henson's dunk capped the spurt.
Several minutes later, Justin Watts' jam on a fastbreak put UNC ahead 22-15 and Zeller's layup on a fastbreak increased the Tar Heels' lead.
Trent Meyer stole a UNC pass and put home an easy layup, bringing the Bulldogs back within single digits, 36-27, but the Tar Heels kept pressing. A Zeller putback with just over a minute to go in the half gave the Tar Heels a 43-27 advantage.
UNC led 44-31 at the break.
Over three minutes into the second stanza, Zeller's sky hook from the right side gave the Heels a commanding 55-33 lead, but over the next six-plus minutes, the visitors chipped away at their deficit.
McDonald hit a baseline jumper with 12:30 to play, which put UNC ahead by a 60-46 margin. Several minutes later, the lead remained at 14 after Henson's baseline move and ensuing layup led to a 62-48 score.
"We had a great number of opportunities to learn by our mistakes," Williams added. "If we learn from them, then I'll say we improved."
Primm's three-pointer and his ensuing driving layup in the lane brought the Bulldogs within 11, 68-57, with over six minutes remaining on the clock. After Zeller's inside bucket, UNC-Asheville scored seven straight points and cut the deficit to only six at 70-64.
But a goaltending call against the Bulldogs on UNC's next offensive possession preceded strong foul shooting down the stretch by the Tar Heels, who held on for the victory.
UNC won the battle on the glass, 52-32...Zeller was 8-of-11 from the floor...Barnes made all three of his three-point attempts...The Tar Heels shot 46.6 percent (27-for-58) overall...UNC now leads the all-time series, 7-0.
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