Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Rapid Reaction: UNC 73, Miami 56
By Robbi Pickeral
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- A quick look at No. 3 North Carolina’s 73-56 win over Miami at the Smith Center on Tuesday night:
How it happened: UNC’s starting backcourt -- criticized at times for its lack of scoring this season -- got the Tar Heels out to a strong start. While UNC’s "Big Three" of Tyler Zeller, John Henson and Harrison Barnes made only 5 of 19 shots in the first half, starting guards Kendall Marshall and Dexter Strickland were 7-for-9, pushing the Tar Heels to a 40-25 halftime lead.
Marshall, known more for his assists than his field goals, was particularly aggressive. He began a first-half-ending 9-0 run by beating UM reserve Shane Larkin on consecutive drives to the bucket for baskets. On Marshall’s third straight drive, he fed the ball to Henson, who was fouled.
UNC stretched that run to 17-0 before the Hurricanes scored about 3 ½ minutes into the second half, and Miami had no answer.
In the end, Marshall scored in double figures (12 points) for the first time this season, while Strickland added 14 (tying his season-high), as well. Zeller led the team with 16 points.
Kenny Kadji led Miami, which was out-rebounded by 16 and shot 41.8 percent, with 16 points.
Injury report: UNC freshman forward James Michael McAdoo, questionable (at least) to play for the second straight game because of a sprained left ankle, nonetheless played for the second straight game. The reserve played 12 minutes, scoring two points.
Number to know: UNC now has stretched its home winning streak to 28 straight. It began with a win against Miami, 69-62, back on March 2, 2010.
(Another) number to know: Barnes, who had scored in double figures in 28 of his previous 30 games (and had recorded 20 or more in three of his previous four outings), finished with six points on 2-for-12 shooting.
Hubbub: Former “Voice of the Tar Heels” Woody Durham, who served as UNC’s play-by-play announcer for 40 years, was honored at halftime; the radio booth has now been named the “Woody Durham Tar Heel Sports Network Radio Booth.”
What’s next: UNC will play their first road game since Dec. 3 when it travels to Florida State on Saturday. The Hurricanes play Clemson at home on Wednesday, Jan. 18.