The North Carolina men’s basketball team handled Arkansas on Friday afternoon in the PK80 Invitational semifinals, winning 87-68. The Tar Heels (5-0) looked much better against the Razorbacks (4-1) this time around than in their 2017 NCAA Tournament second round game, where UNC struggled to a 72-65 victory.
Here are three takeaways from today’s victory:
Juniors leading the way
Junior forward Luke Maye has certainly had an outstanding start to the 2017-2018 season. In his first four games, Maye was averaging 19.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. Today, he was even better, setting career-highs in points (28) and rebounds (16). Maye also led the Tar Heels in assists, finishing with five dimes on the day. Not only did Maye hit some shots from inside, but he also converted four-of-five three-point attempts.
Maye was joined by junior guard Kenny Williams, who is having the best stretch of his collegiate career. After scoring 37 combined points in UNC’s last two games, Williams was hot again on Friday, going 3-5 from three and shooting over 50 percent from the field. Williams finished the day with 19 points, good for second-best on the team, and also added eight rebounds.
The chemistry between Williams and Maye was evident, with Williams finding Maye on a bounce pass for a layup to put the Tar Heels ahead 74-58. Later in the half, Maye fired ahead an outlet pass to Williams, who scooped the ball in with 53 seconds left to give UNC a 85-68 lead.