- Robbi Pickeral, College Basketball
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- A quick look at No. 11 North Carolina’s 80-56 victory over Florida Atlantic at the Smith Center on Sunday:
How it happened: Despite shooting just 34.2 percent in the first half (and making only 4 of 14 free throws) the Tar Heels took a 32-24 lead into halftime on the strength of 10 points apiece from James Michael McAdoo and Reggie Bullock -- and a 20-4 advantage in the paint.
UNC stretched that advantage by opening the second half with a 5-0 run, and led by double-digits the rest of the way.
It was a game of sometimes-fantastic, sometimes frustrating spurts for the Tar Heels, as coach Roy Williams continues to teach four new freshmen, figure out the best combinations and determine where the points are going to come from.
McAdoo led the Tar Heels with his second straight double-double (19 points, 11 rbounds); Bullock was more aggressive offensively (16 points) and freshman forward Brice Johnson chipped in 12 points. Guard Greg Gantt led Florida Atlantic with 18 points.
Numbers to know: The Tar Heels finished 12-for-27 (44.4 percent) from the free throw line, and made 6 of 15 3-pointers.
Hubbub: After failing to record an assist Friday in his career-opener, UNC starting freshman point guard Marcus Paige got that “first” out of the way quickly on Sunday, on a pass to Bullock about 90 seconds into the game. He finished with six assists, three turnovers, two points and four rebounds.
What’s next: The 11th-ranked Tar Heels will play at Long Beach State at 11 p.m. EST on Friday night en route to the Maui Invitational, which begins next Monday. FAU plays at Mississippi State on Tuesday at 8 p.m.