The No 10 North Carolina men’s basketball team defeated the N.C. State Wolfpack, 97-73, at PNC Arena on Wednesday night.
Much like the first matchup between the two, UNC dominated the opening minutes of the contest. The Tar Heels got the ball into the paint early and often, scoring virtually at will against an undersized N.C. State squad.
No matter which tandem of forwards took the floor for UNC, N.C. State could do little to slow the Tar Heels down inside. UNC’s bigs combined for 29 points on 13-20 shooting from the floor in the first half alone. With just nine minutes off the clock, the Tar Heels had already built a 17-point lead.
But then, North Carolina fell asleep. With a comfortable lead, the ball started to stick offensively and the points stopped coming. With an opportunity for his team to climb back into the contest, N.C. State guard Dennis Smith Jr. started to heat up.
Smith scored 17 first-half points and powered his team all the way back to within six with 3:24 to play in the first period. With the Wolfpack in striking distance, the Tar Heels responded with a 10-2 run to close out the half, stretching the lead back to 14 as the teams headed into the locker room.