Tar Heels advance past South CarolinaNov 26, 2011 - 5:50 AM North Carolina ran past South Carolina, 87-62, at the Las Vegas Invitational.
John Henson finished with 18 points and eight rebounds for the Tar Heels (5-0), who will play UNLV in the championship game Saturday night. Kendall Marshall had 14 assists and six steals for UNC, which started the contest on a 19-4 burst.
Damien Leonard tallied 15 points for the Gamecocks (2-3), who committed 25 turnovers. R.J. Slawson ended with 13 points and 14 rebounds, while Malik Cooke had 12 points and Anthony Gill 10 in defeat.
Tyler Zeller's two free throws capped a game-opening 6-0 burst for the Tar Heels. His layup stretched the difference to 19-4 nearly six minutes into the game.
UNC maintained the healthy advantage throughout the opening half and held a commanding 45-32 cushion going to the locker room.
A three-ball from Barnes widened the gap to 51-34 before Cooke's long-distance shot briefly got the deficit to 10 points with 14:13 remaining. The Tar Heels quickly upped the cushion to 18, as Zeller's layup made it 66-48 at the midway point. The double-digit difference remained the rest of the way.
This was the first meeting between UNC and South Carolina since December 7, 1996...The Tar Heels lead the all-time series, 58-21. The last seven encounters have been at a neutral site...The Gamecocks shot 42 percent from the field, compared to 46 percent for the Tar Heels...Zeller had 12 points.
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