Tar Heels breeze past Monmouth for seventh straight winJan 1, 2012 - 11:44 PM North Carolina breezed past Monmouth, 102-65, on Sunday.
Harrison Barnes added 18 points, P.J. Hairston had 16 and Reggie Bullock finished with 11 for the Tar Heels (13-2), who have won seven straight games -- all at home.
Andrew Nicholas scored a game-high 22 points to pace the Hawks (2-12), while Jesse Steele added 17 points and nine assists.
Chapel Hill has been kind to the Tar Heels of late. They have not faltered during their current nine-game homestand, which continues Saturday against Boston College in the ACC opener and concludes January 10 versus Miami- Florida. In fact, Sunday's victory was UNC's 26th in a row at home -- a Smith Center record.
"It's been a long stretch here of these non-conference games at home," said Tar Heels coach Roy Williams. "Now we're getting ready to start our conference regular season, and our play is going to have to go up a level."
The Hawks, losers of four straight, did not prove a threat to the streak. UNC shot 54.4 percent from the field and held a sizeable 55-26 advantage on the glass. Tyler Zeller and James Michael McAdoo bolstered the strong interior effort, both scoring eight points to go with 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively.
The Tar Heels took a commanding 57-26 lead into the break and firmly established their dominance down low, outscoring the Hawks 42-18 in the paint and 20-5 in second chance points.
UNC has won 56 in a row against non-conference opponents at the Smith Center.
"I'm proud of my kids," said Monmouth coach King Rice. "My kids really battled today. As I told them, 'guys, we fought as hard as we could, they are just better than us.'"
North Carolina's 26 straight home wins are a Smith Center record, but the overall UNC home winning streak mark stands at 32 games. The record was set from 1926-29...Rice and Monmouth assistant coaches Derrick Phelps and Brian Reese were teammates on UNC's 1991 Final Four squad.
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