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No. 8 UNC improves to 56-0 at home vs. Clemson

Feb 19, 2012 - 12:33 AM Chapel Hill, NC (Sports Network) - Harrison Barnes scored 24 points to help No. 8 North Carolina improve to 56-0 at home against Clemson as the Tar Heels defeated the Tigers, 74-52, at Smith Center on Saturday.

The 56-game home winning streak is the longest in NCAA history for a team against a single opponent.

Tyler Zeller and John Henson chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively, and Kendall Marshall dished out 13 assists for North Carolina (23-4, 10-2 ACC), which has won three straight since a heartbreaking loss to Duke on February 8.

"We have been getting better and better, defensively," remarked North Carolina coach Roy Williams. "There are a few things that have been fairly consistent for us. I do believe that, defensively, and the work on the backboards is where this team has developed consistency."

Andre Young scored 13 points and Devin Booker contributed nine points and nine boards for the Tigers (13-13, 5-7), who had a two-game winning streak snapped.

The Tar Heels countered an early 7-2 deficit with a 21-5 spurt over the next nine minutes to take a 23-12 advantage with 6:19 left until halftime.

Young's three-point heave from long distance counted at the buzzer, pulling the Tigers within single-digits, 31-22, at the break.

The Tar Heels led by as many as 12, but the Tigers clawed their way back into the game when Tanner Smith knocked down a triple, and followed it with a fast- break layup to cut the Clemson deficit to 47-41 with just under 12 minutes to go.

However, Carolina's front court would take over from there, as Henson, Barnes and Zeller combined to score 16 of the teams' next 19 points, allowing the Tar Heels to pull away as they took a comfortable 66-49 advantage with 3:36 remaining.

"I didn't think we played particularly well today," said Clemson head coach Brad Brownell. "Certainly some of that is because of North Carolina. We had the game at 47-41 and I think we turned the ball over five out of six, or five out of seven possessions. That's the end of the game because they capitalized. We've got to play better down the stretch, and we didn't do it."

Game Notes

North Carolina has won 14 of the last 15 meetings...Clemson shot 37.5 percent from the field, while the Tar Heels shot 49.2 percent...North Carolina outrebounded Clemson 39-26...The Tar Heels did not attempt a free throw in the first half, but finished the game 6-of-8 from the line.