UNC uses big performances to down Long IslandMar 19, 2011 - 4:21 AM
Zeller and Henson both had career-highs with 32 and 28 points, respectively. Barnes had 24 points and 16 rebounds, while Henson had 11 boards.
"We moved the ball at times really well and they got really good shots," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "A couple of times we didn't move it as well, we settled for an outside shot, perhaps too early, but I think that we always try to focus on throwing the basketball inside."
The second-seeded Tar Heels (27-7), the 2009 national champions, will play No. 7 seed Washington on Sunday.
Long Island (27-6), making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1997 and its fourth in the tournament overall (0-4), was led by Julian Boyd's 18 points and 12 rebounds.
"We don't see size like that," LIU coach Jim Ferry said of the Tar Heels. "I don't think there's many teams in the country that are that long, and again we're a team that we go inside a lot and we get fouled. They had ten blocked shots. We're not used to that."
The Blackbirds, the Northeast Conference Tournament champions, entered with the nation's longest active winning streak at 13 games. But they were clearly overmatched by a Tar Heels team that put up triple-digits despite going 3- of-17 from three-point range. That's because UNC scored 31 of their points at the foul line and used a 54-39 rebounding advantage.
LIU used a 10-1 run to get within 71-59 following Arnold Mayorga's free throw with under 12 minutes remaining. It was a 10-point spread at 77-67 after Michael Culpo drilled a three-pointer for the Blackbirds, but Zeller was too much offensively and his layup moved North Carolina to a 91-74 cushion with just over five minutes to go.
The Blackbirds made one last push, getting within 97-87 on Boyd's three-ball inside two minutes, but the deficit was too much to overcome, especially considering Zeller's 14-of-19 effort at the foul line.
"We did a good job of taking advantage what they were giving us," Zeller said. "We had mismatches inside. We kept throwing it inside, and I got lucky and made a few shots."
LIU fell behind by double digits early, but shocked the Carolina faithful by scoring 12 in a row, tying the game at 33 on Kenny Onyechi's layup with five minutes left in the first half.
"We made some crucial mistakes, a couple turnovers, some bad shots and not getting back," Henson said. "That's what happens when a team of that caliber in this tournament. Those are mistakes we can't make in the further rounds and try to fix that."
UNC then assumed control and bolted to a 53-42 lead at the break.
The Tar Heels moved to 28-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games played in North Carolina. That includes 24 straight victories...UNC has won 14 of its last 16 NCAA Tournament games...The Tar Heels, who lost to Dayton in the NIT championship game last year, also received 10 assists from Kendall Marshall...Henson had six blocks...C.J. Garner had 16 points and Jamal Olasewere 15 for LIU...This is the most points North Carolina has allowed in a non-overtime NCAA Tournament game since a 92-73 loss to Texas Tech in the second round in 1996.
- LONG ISLAND: 87
NORTH CAROLINA: 102
Mar 18 9:35 PM
- LONG ISLAND: 42
NORTH CAROLINA: 53
Mar 18 8:13 PM
- LONG ISLAND: 0
NORTH CAROLINA: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Mar 18 7:16 PM
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