PORTLAND, Ore, Sporting Alert — Luke Maye scored 20 points with 10 rebounds and No. 9 North Carolina crushed Portland 102-78 in its opening game of the PK80 tournament at Moda Center in Portland on Thanksgiving Day.
The tournament is to honor the 80th birthday of Nike founder Phil Knight, who is currently at the area to watch some of the nation’s best programs in action.
Maye, who played 27 minutes, shot 9 of 15 from the field and scored 14 of his total points in the second half for the Tar Heels (4-0), who have won four in a row to start a season for the second successive term.
“I’ve really had a concerted effort on scoring more in the post,” Maye said. “We lost three top players in the post. I’m trying to make more shots in the paint and be a presence in there. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m getting there.”
Joel Berry II scored 18 points, while Kenny Williams went 7 of 12 from the floor to finish with 17 points for North Carolina.
Also reaching double-digits in scoring were Andrew Platek, who finished with 12 points and Theo Pinson, who flirted with a triple-double with 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for North Carolina, which shot 50 percent on 39 of 78 shooting from the floor.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a player get a triple-double, but he might be the first,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said of Pinson.
Franklin Porter led the way for Portland with 19 points on 6 of 9 shooting with five rebounds.
Marcus Shaver scored 17 points and Malcolm Porter had 13 for the Pilots (2-2), who had their two-game winning streak snapped.
North Carolina led 22-14 with just under 10-minutes to play in the first half before pushing on to take a halftime 48-35 advantage.
They then connected on its their first nine shots in the second half to pull away.
As a team, Portland shot just 40 percent and was outrebounded 49-31 on the day.
“It’s great for our young guys to be in these types of games and our team overall, to be in these type of games, and the big picture is our conference play,” Portland coach Terry Porter said.
“When we play in games like this, we’re going to have carry-over and it’s going to help us in our conference play.”
Williams revealed: “I told coach Porter that they really helped us because they showed us how poor we played on the defensive end of the floor.
“We’ve got to get better there. At the same, I liked a lot of what our guys did.”