CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Joel Berry II had 27 points, Luke Maye had 24 points and a career-high 17 rebounds and No. 13 North Carolina defeated Davidson 85-75 on Friday night.
Kenny Williams added 12 points for the Tar Heels (7-1), who shot 47 percent from the field and outrebounded Davidson 54-23.
Davidson (3-3) was led by 22 points and seven rebounds from Peyton Aldridge.
The Tar Heels blew open a four-point game midway through the second half with an 11-1 run led by Sterling Manley and Theo Pinson.
Manley scored on an and-one on a nifty move in the low post and followed with another short jumper. Pinson then gave the Tar Heels their first double-digit lead with two strong driving left-handed layups, including an and-one, to push the lead to 14.
Maye added two putbacks on the offensive glass, including a dunk that brought the crowd to its feet, to push the lead to 18.
The Wildcats cut the lead late in the game, but it wasn’t enough.
Davidson stayed with North Carolina for the entire first half, leading in the early going and never trailing by more than six points. Berry gave the Tar Heels a 43-37 lead heading into the locker room after scoring on a drive and then burying a 3-pointer from the right wing.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels took an early punch from Davidson falling behind by seven, but didn’t panic and methodically wore down the less talented, but scrappy Wildcats with tireless work on the glass. They are playing through the soft part of their schedule now with upcoming games against Tulane, Western Carolina, Tennessee and Wofford.
Davidson: This was a solid effort for the Wildcats, who figure to be a contender in the Atlantic 10 this season. They were able to get open shots against the defending national champs with their motion offense and showed plenty of heart. North Carolina coach Roy Williams was forced to play his starters until the final minute of the game before emptying the bench.
North Carolina: Hosts Tulane on Sunday.
Davidson: Hosts VMI on Tuesday night.