CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Sporting Alert – Joel Berry II scored 18 points and led six North Carolina players in double figures, and the No. 6 Tar Heels beat Chattanooga 97-57 in a college basketball AP Top 25 game on Sunday.
“I love having six guys in double figures,” winning head coach Roy Williams said on www.goheels.com.
“We did a nice job on the backboards, take away the silly turnovers and didn’t shoot free throws as well as we’ve been shooting them in practice, and we will be really really pleased about what we did.”
North Carolina shot 48.6 percent overall from the field and 46.7 percent from 3-point range in the win for the ACC powerhouses.
Berry II went 5 for 8 from the floor and made two 3-pointers, dished out five assists and pulled down four rebounds.
“I think I did a great job at it, just picking up in the half court, trying to pressure their point guard so they wouldn’t get into their sets easily,” said Berry II.
“They had a lot of motion, so I just tried to pick up so they wouldn’t get into it easily and that helped us a lot. It was effort and intensity. Once we got that going, the intensity went to our side.
“That’s what coach wants. If anything goes wrong, or if he gets mad at anything, it’s always effort. I felt like we gave that today, and that’s why we were able to get that 20 point lead in the second half.”
Kennedy Meeks added a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds and also had three blocks and two steals for North Carolina, which has won 15 straight home openers.
Isaiah Hicks had 13 points and five boards, Tony Bradley added 12 points and eight rebounds and Kenny Williams finished with 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals for North Carolina (2-0).
Greg Pryor scored 17 points and picked up three steals to lead the way for the Chattanooga (1-1), who defeated Tennessee on the road to open its season on Friday.
Casey Jones scored 10 points in the defeat for the Mocs, who shot 34.9 percent.
North Carolina won the rebounding battle 51-32 against Chattanooga.
“Carolina is a top-10 team for a reason,” Chattanooga head coach Matt McCall said in his post game statement.
“Joel Berry does a great job of running the team. He just plays mistake free. When there is an open shot he takes it, he doesn’t turn the ball over, and he plays the game the right way,” he added.
Up next for the Tar Heels is a home date against Long Beach State on Tuesday night.
Chattanooga will take on Hiwassee College in their home opener on Wednesday night.