During the first half of North Carolina’s 78-55 win against East Tennessee State on Saturday, P.J. Hairston eagerly pointed out the lopsided score to an unaware Leslie McDonald.
At that moment, the Tar Heels (7-2) were in the process of completing a 19-0 run that left the Pirates (2-5) scoreless for more than eight minutes. Still, McDonald could hardly believe what he saw when he looked at the scoreboard right above him.
“If we’re constantly coming at them defensively, we really don’t look at the score,” McDonald said through a proud grin. “It was amazing seeing that four points to 29. It brought back high school days.”
But, after holding ETSU to just 12 first-half points, the fewest points ever scored in a single half at the Smith Center, the Tar Heels didn’t shine nearly as bright after the break
All but one of UNC’s 31 field goals Saturday was an assisted basket. Williams liked seeing his team work together so consistently. What he didn’t like as much, though, was UNC’s lack of intensity in the second half compared to the first.