7:00 PM ET, January 7, 2004
Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Sean May and North Carolina can finally put the Kentucky loss behind them.Four days after the disappointing defeat, May had 23 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Tar Heels (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) past Miami 89-64 on Wednesday night. Jawad Williams, Rashad McCants and Jackie Manuel each scored 15 points for the Tar Heels (9-2), who earned their 200th win in the Smith Center. North Carolina improved to 93-11 against nonconference opponents in the building, which opened in January 1986. North Carolina was coming off a 61-56 loss to the Wildcats on Saturday, a game in which Kentucky shot 55 percent in the second half. Roy Williams criticized his team's effort afterward, saying he was as frustrated as he had ever been during his coaching career. May and his teammates responded Wednesday. North Carolina turned in a better defensive effort, shot 50 percent and had a 52-32 rebounding edge over the Hurricanes (10-4). May, McCants and Jawad Williams led that turnaround. After combining for 15 points on 6-for-23 shooting against Kentucky, the trio had 53 points and 26 rebounds against Miami. "We were embarrassed watching the Kentucky film, and I think it showed out there tonight," May said. Williams played solid defense on Darius Rice, holding Miami's leading scorer to seven points, 11 below his average. "Watching the Kentucky film, you realize things you could've done to have won that game," Williams said. "We've been waiting for this moment." Robert Hite scored 27 points to lead the Hurricanes, who fell to 1-7 against their future Atlantic Coast Conference rival. Miami leaves the Big East for the ACC next season. The Hurricanes won last year's matchup, taking a 64-61 overtime win as North Carolina went without a field goal for the final 12 minutes. The Tar Heels had no such offensive troubles Wednesday, getting nine straight field goals from May to take control. They increased their lead to 23 points midway through the second half behind several transition baskets, many coming off turnovers. "We wanted to force some turnovers and get our break going, and I think we did that," Roy Williams said. "We tried to mix it up and vary it so they wouldn't know exactly when it was coming." Miami shot 38 percent and finished with 22 turnovers against the trapping North Carolina defense. "I thought North Carolina defensively just did a really good job of forcing us out of what we wanted to do," Miami coach Perry Clark said. "I think our turnovers gave them break opportunities and they have a lot of tremendous players." The Tar Heels needed this win as they continued through a tough January schedule. North Carolina faces No. 8 Georgia Tech on Sunday, then travels to Maryland before hosting No. 1 Connecticut next week. May got the Tar Heels going, providing a steady shooting touch inside and the tough rebounding that helped ignite North Carolina's fast break. After starting 0-for-3, he hit his last eight shots of the first half and finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. The 6-foot-9, 260-pound sophomore did it with an array of moves, from the soft turnaround jumper in the lane to a dunk off a steal from midcourt. He also had a long outlet pass that led to a layup by McCants, capping a 10-2 run that gave the Tar Heels a 44-31 lead with 1:39 to play in the half. May hit his ninth straight shot 15 seconds into the second half, and the Tar Heels never let their margin dip below 10 points.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
|» Jan 7, 2004||@UNC 89, MIA 64||Recap|