CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- As the only North Carolina starter not
averaging in double figures, Jackie Manuel rarely gets the
attention given to his more famous teammates.
But he continues to do the little things that often get
overlooked by fans, even when they show up on the stat sheet.
Manuel's coach certainly notices."Jackie Manuel is not a worry for me," Roy Williams said. "I
admire the youngster and really respect what he does."Manuel broke out of a long slump with 14 points, Sean May added
17 points and 15 rebounds and North Carolina made the most of a
rare home game, beating Miami 87-67 Saturday night.Jawad Williams also scored 14 points and Raymond Felton and
Rashad McCants had 10 points apiece for the sixth-ranked Tar Heels
(16-2, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). They are in the middle of a
stretch during which they play six of eight games on the road, a
run that includes a loss at Wake Forest last Saturday -- the only
one in the past 17 games -- and trips to Duke and to Connecticut."We just have to do it, it's time," Manuel said. "We've got
to suck it up and show people we can not only win at home, but on
the road."His point total tied a season best, as did his two 3-pointers.
Manuel also added an assist, a steal and four rebounds while
helping hold Miami's Robert Hite to only six points, 12 below his
average."I'm just in a funk right now," Hite said. "I've got to keep
working and I've got to keep shooting."Manuel's first 3 late in the first half was part of a 20-3 run
that spanned halftime, giving North Carolina control and the
capacity crowd that included soccer star Mia Hamm and husband Nomar
Garciaparra plenty to cheer."I guess you're just going to have your night," Manuel said.
"I feel like all the hard work is paying off. It makes me want to
get in the gym and work even harder."The Hurricanes (12-5, 3-3) have been the surprise of the
conference after they were picked to finish 11th in the newly
expanded ACC. With victories over North Carolina State and Virginia
-- plus an upset at Florida -- they've proven they brought more to
the league than their football program.But Miami struggled in its fifth trip to Chapel Hill. Guillermo
Diaz finished with a misleading 30 points, with most coming long
after the outcome was decided."Me personally? I don't want you to score even 10," Manuel
said. "I think we did a decent job."Point guard Anthony Harris appeared particularly rattled by
North Carolina's trapping defense. His first shot was blocked by
Jawad Williams, and he had turnovers on the next three possessions,
earning a seat on the bench next to coach Frank Haith."He had a couple of bad turnovers that he hasn't had all
year," Haith said. "He just made bad passes."The Hurricanes recovered a bit and pulled to 29-25 before the
Tar Heels got going.Quentin Thomas and Melvin Scott each made two free throws and
Manuel connected from long range to increase the margin to 11, and
Felton later closed out the half with two more free throws for a
40-26 lead."We're still competing," Hite said. "We know we've got a good
team. There are no easy games in the ACC."North Carolina was 17-of-19 at the line in the opening 20
minutes, while Miami was only 5-of-8. May finished 9-of-13 for the
game."We just wanted to get the ball inside, somehow, some way,"
May said. "A lot of teams this year have been double-teaming me.
They really didn't double-team, so I just tried to take advantage
and get to the foul line."The second half was more of the same. McCants, the Tar Heels'
top scorer, tipped in a miss for his first points of the game, and
May converted two free throws and had a 3-point play to make it
47-26.After the Hurricanes got within 13, McCants started and finished
an 11-0 run with 3-pointers, and the lead was never less than 18
after that."In this league, you've got to be happy with any W," Roy
Williams said. "We had a home game, and now we go back on the