CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina kept shooting from outside. The 11th-ranked Tar Heels didn’t miss much, either.
Luke Maye had 12 points and 12 rebounds while UNC hit a season-high 16 3-pointers to beat Western Carolina 104-61 on Wednesday night, turning in a strong offensive performance to head into an 11-day exam break.
The Tar Heels (9-1) shot 57 percent and made 16 of 22 3-point attempts, coming one shy of matching the program record for made 3s in a game. It tied the record for made 3s under 15th-year coach Roy Williams, while the 72.7 percent conversion rate was a school record for a game in which the Tar Heels had at least 20 attempts.
It allowed Williams to rely on a bit of analysis he’s fond of throwing out on good shooting nights.
“Everything looks great when the ball goes in the basket,” Williams said, “and it went in the basket tonight.”
The Tar Heels came into the game shooting about 36 percent from behind the arc, though it marked the third time in the past four games they had hit at least 42 percent on 3s.
The difference was volume; they hadn’t made more than 11 3s in a game this season.
“I think it’s something teams have to worry about because we have so many shooters,” said Kenny Williams, who scored 13 points and made 3 of 4 3-pointers. “We can throw in a lineup where you have all five guys that can shoot the ball. And then it’s more dangerous because it spreads the floor.”
Still, the Tar Heels put the game away quickly with more than just 3s. They ran off 20 straight points during a 33-3 first-half run, shooting 64 percent by the break.
“They were draining just about everything they shot, both halves,” Western Carolina coach Larry Hunter said, “They shoot like that, … they’re going to be a tough out for a lot of people.”
Deriece Parks scored 13 points for the Catamounts (3-7), who made two quick shots for a 5-0 lead. But they missed 16 of 17 shots and had an 8-minute scoring drought as the Tar Heels took over.