7:00 PM ET, November 24, 2003
Belk Arena, Davidson, North Carolina
Jawad Williams, who scored a career-high 28 points. "People want to see good basketball and coach Williams is going to teach good basketball, so they come to see that."Sean May scored 19 points, Rashad McCants had 13 and Melvin Scott added 12 for North Carolina (2-0).Raymond Felton added 12 assists for the Tar Heels, who had few problems with Davidson (0-2), which humiliated them two years ago in a 58-54 upset in Chapel Hill.Not this time. In just two games under Williams, North Carolina has already shown marked improvement from its fall the past two years from one of the top programs in to the country to a mediocre team.It was evident from the start, to the delight of the crowd of 16,356 at the Charlotte Coliseum. More than two-thirds of the fans were wearing Carolina blue and greeted Williams with a standing ovation when he led the team onto the court.He drew one of his loudest cheers late in the second half when he ran on the court to admonish his players for circling around Matt McKillop after McKillop was called for an intentional foul on McCants.As he shouted and pointed at May, who was jawing with McKillop, the crowd rose to its feet to salute him."I was upset with our guys," Williams said. "The ref called a hard foul and I didn't like the way our guys reacted. I perceived they were talking too much."May took the brunt of Williams' anger and didn't mind at all."He was talking to me and telling me to get under control," May said. "It shocked me to see him come out so quick, but showed me he's right there with us."Although it was a Davidson home game, and the scattering of Wildcats fans tried to spoil it with boos that were loudly drained out, it was clearly Carolina's night from the opening tip when the Tar Heels came out patient on offense and relentless on defense.The Tar Heels quickly shut down Davidson's inside game, forcing the Wildcats into long hurried shots that rattled off the rim and, more times than not, right into Carolina's hands. They were smothering at other times, with double teams that made it difficult for the Wildcats to even move the ball up the court.When Davidson was clearly rattled -- and trailing 24-7 midway through the first half -- it freed North Carolina to loosen up on offense. The results were crisp no-look passes under the basket and several thundering dunks by May out of fast-breaks.It never got any easier for Davidson, which turned the ball over 27 times. Obviously too timid to look inside, the Wildcats shot 11-of-29 from 3-point range and 42 percent overall.Following a season-opening 89-58 loss at Texas Tech, and with games at Georgetown and Duke looming next month, the Wildcats are in for a long December.But coach Bob McKillop wouldn't change the schedule."It exposes us to the kinds of things we need to work on," he said. "Exposes us to things that have us soul-searching as players, as coaches. We find out what our weaknesses and strengths are, and gives us a chance to get on a national stage. Anytime you do that, it puts you at risk."Brendan Winters led Davidson with 24 points and Ian Johnson scored 19.
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