(9) North Carolina 70

(5-1, 2-1 away)

Indiana 63

(2-1, 2-1 home)

9:00 PM ET, December 1, 2004

Assembly Hall (Indiana), Bloomington, Indiana

1 2 T
#9UNC 32 3870
IND 26 3763

Top Performers

North Carolina: R. McCants 19 Pts, 2 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Indiana: R. Vaden 16 Pts, 9 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

May struggles in return to Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- North Carolina was ready for its test Wednesday night. Rashad McCants and Raymond Felton made sure the Tar Heels passed.

McCants scored 19 points and Felton added 18 to lead the Tar Heels (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) past Indiana for their fifth straight win, 70-63.

"I'm extremely happy, to say the least," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "This was our first real road game of the year, and Indiana made enough 3-point shots to scare us."

The game was a far cry from the easy blowouts North Carolina was accustomed to lately. The Tar Heels came to town with four straight double-digit wins and three straight games in which they topped 90 points.

North Carolina (5-1), playing for the sixth time in 13 days, got into foul trouble in the second half and lost backup Marvin Williams late in the first half when he needed four stitches over his eye.

The Hoosiers also took advantage of a weary opponent by playing strong defense and with relentless effort.

That changed the game, from the expected blowout, into a classic battle between two of college basketball's most storied programs.

"We played with more intensity," Indiana coach Mike Davis said. "We have to get better from games like this, and tonight I felt like we took a step in that direction."

The Hoosiers (2-1) were led by Bracey Wright with 18 points and Robert Vaden, who had 16 points and nine rebounds.

But they were also spurred by a sellout crowd that urged Indiana players to dive after loose balls and fight for rebounds. The Hoosiers delivered with their scrappiest game in more than a year.

The fans also took on North Carolina's Sean May, who did not respond well to the hecklers.

May, a former Indiana Mr. Basketball and the son of Indiana All-American Scott May, was booed in warmups and one fan had a sign taken away that read "Sean May = Traitor." Five fans wore shirts that spelled out the phrase "May you must be adopted," and the boos and chants intensified throughout the game as May struggled.

He made just 2-of-7 shots and finished with eight points, all in the second half, and heard chants of "traitor" in the final seconds.

"They said exactly what I thought they were going to say," May said. "I went to get a drink from a store today and heard some boos coming out. I love Indiana basketball, people don't realize how close it is to my heart."

Williams thought the crowd reaction was too much.

"They were saying things that shouldn't be said," Williams said.

May's teammates plotted a different response.

After watching a 32-26 halftime lead dwindle to 34-33 just 1:38 into the second half, North Carolina righted itself.

McCants hit two free throws to start a 12-2 run and when May finally got his first basket of the night -- an emphatic dunk with 11:31 to go -- the Tar Heels appeared to have control with a 48-38 lead.

"The way we played defense tonight, not a lot of teams could have beat us," Davis said. "But they made big shots and we missed big shots. I thought McCants hit two big shots, and Felton hit big shots."

Yet the Tar Heels, uncharacteristically, could not pull away.

Wright and Marshall Strickland each hit 3-pointers to get Indiana within 50-44 with 8:41 left. Then May and McCants each drew their fourth fouls before the seven-minute mark, forcing North Carolina to rely on defense.

Despite enduring a scoring drought of 5:14 before May completed a three-point play, the Tar Heels kept Indiana in check. May's three-point play made it 53-46.

Poor shooting and carelessness with the ball created even more problems for Indiana in the closing minutes, and when McCants hit his fifth 3-pointer to make it 56-46 it essentially sealed the win.

Indiana made four 3s in the final minute but never got closer than five.

For Williams, a win in a hostile environment was more than enough to satisfy him.

"We can win ugly and we can win in the 50s and 60s," Williams said. "But I like winning in the 90s a lot better."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 70 63
FG Made-Attempted 22-54 (.407) 22-65 (.338)
3P Made-Attempted 8-18 (.444) 11-32 (.344)
FT Made-Attempted 18-24 (.750) 8-15 (.533)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 21 (0/0)
Largest Lead 11 4

2004-05 Season

» Dec 1, 2004 UNC 70, @IND 63Recap