In its 11th game of the season, North Carolina (7-4, 1-1 ACC) slammed The Citadel (5-5), 100-67, on Tuesday night at the Dean E. Smith Center.
The Citadel came out of the gates strong, winning the tip and capitalizing by immediately sinking a three to take the first lead of the game. UNC was able to respond quickly, however, with junior guard Caleb Love making his first 3-point attempt of the night.
From there, the Tar Heels were able to quickly establish dominance and gain a solid lead, forcing multiple transitions and putting in solid performances at the line to create a 15-7 lead by the first media time out.
North Carolina continued its strong defensive showing, putting 15 rebounds and seven offensive rebounds on the board by the seventh minute. The Citadel was able to remain afloat in the game due to an impressive showing from the arch, sinking four wide-open 3-pointers in a row and keeping the Tar Heels in reach with a score of 26-23.
In the final minutes of the first period, UNC was able to pull away largely due to its own run of three made 3-point shots from graduate transfer forward Pete Nance, junior guard RJ Davis, and Love, respectively, to which The Citadel was unable to find an answer. The Tar Heels closed out the half with a 15 point advantage — their largest of the game — to lead 48-33.
Nance sank a floater immediately out of the second half to get the ball rolling on a productive North Carolina offensive effort that would allow the team to extend its lead to 20 within three minutes. From there, UNC was able to completely shut down The Citadel and by the halfway mark of the second half, the Tar Heels wer up 73-46.
With a comfortable 27-point lead, North Carolina emptied the bench and displayed a lineup consisting of first-year guard Seth Trimble, sophomore forward Dontrez Styles, first-year forward Tyler Nickel, first-year forward Jalen Washington and Davis. The second unit stayed in for the remainder of the game and proved to be productive as UNC ended the game with 39 bench points.