UNC advances to second round

NCAA tournament in Spectrum Center
By: 
Michael Christopher
Sports Editor

BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
onesports@observernewsonline.com
CHARLOTTE—University of North Carolina junior and Huntersville native Luke Maye did his part to help the NCAA Division I men’s basketball defending champions to a 84-66 victory against Lipscomb Friday in Charlotte’s Spectrum Center.
The second-seeded Tar Heels (26-10) got double digit scoring from all five of its starters led by Kenny Williams’ 18 points and Theo Pinson’s double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Maye finished with 10 points on 2 of 9 from the field while Joel Berry II contributed 14 and Cameron Johnson added 12 in the opening round victory for UNC.
"I think just being better defensively and rebounding better. We turned the ball over way too much tonight and I think it really kind of hurt us," Maye said. "I think we have to continue to take care of the ball better and I have to play better. But at the end of the day, it is a team game and we are moving on and we have to get better for Sunday."
In the Tar Heels victory several streaks and records were broken.
Berry II’s 14 helped him surpass Michael Jordan on the school’s all-time scoring list. He is 13th on the career list with 1,792 in 143 games at UNC.
Friday’s win also helped Carolina improve to 29-1 in the first round. Williams improved to 28-0 in first round games, 12-0 in the city of Charlotte in NCAA tournament play and 5-0 in the Spectrum Center.
"We have good players who have really played well. The fans do help us, and I'm willing to see if we can pass a law that says we play all the NCAA games here. I'd be willing to go for that. But usually we played really well here," the Tar Heels coach said. " '05-- excuse me, '05 particularly I thought we played great here. So, players play. I've never lost to a building, but this has been very comfortable for us. Hopefully, it will last one more game."
Maye had a forgettable shooting first half, converting just 1 of 8 from the field and 1 of 3 from the three-point line. He also shot one of three free throw attempts. Still, he kept his head down and finished shooting 5 of 7 from the charity stripe. He contributed nine rebounds, including a team-high seven defensive rebounds to go along with two assists and two turnovers.
Maye scored double figures for the fourth time in 13 career NCAA Tournament games.
"It was great. It is always good to see my friends and family in the stands and just be able to play in front of a crowd. It is really a dream come true," he said on being able to play near his hometown.
It was Maye’s 3-pointer that gave UNC a 25-23 lead at 8:37 mark. A 3-pointer by Kenny Williams extended the Tar Heel lead to 28-23 and the crowd woke up. Carolina finished the half on a 6-0 run holding the Bisons scoreless over the final 2:41 before half.
The Tar Heels took that momentum into the second half, finishing the game with 42 points in the paint, 15 from turnovers, 10 on second-chance opportunities and 15 from fast break.
Another Huntersville native, Lipscomb’s Michael Buckland, was held to seven points, two rebounds, four assists and a steal. He was 2 of 7 from the field and 1 of 5 from behind the arc.
Lipscomb, the No. 15 seed, finished the regular season with a 23-10 record and gave Carolina a fight in the first half shooting 35.9 percent from the field, 36 percent from behind the arc.

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