UNC 76, Evansville 49

Tar Heels vs Aces boxscore

There's never much to say about these types of December games. The worst that could happen is that the team comes out flat and is embarassed on a grand scale. The best, they win handily and get to work out some of the kinks the currently plague the team. This game was much closer to the best than the worst. Once they took the lead at 6-4, they never trailed, leading by as much as 33 late. Easy win, with time to spare to hit the Gerst Haus.

Of course, the game was a chance for Tyler Zeller to play in front of his friends and family, and he had a ball against the undersized Purple Aces, finishing with 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks. He was part of an interior game that dominated Evansville, totalling nine blocks and making sure no opponent reached double figures in scoring. Justin Knox in particular had a good game, with a season-high 13 points.

The game also gave UNC a chance to work on their weaknesses. To run down the big three, outside shooting is still poor, as the Heels were 4 of 21 from three-point range. Harrison Barnes continues to struggle, shooting only 3 of 11 from the field. His shot looks horribly tentative and often comes off the front end of the rim. I'm not sure what can be done to get him to break through this. And free throw shooting was the second best of the season, but still only 72%; Henson was 1 of 3, but at least everything hit the rim. 

The only other thing of interest was that most of the turnovers were made by interior players. Neither Larry Drew or Kendall Marshall coughed the ball up, and both did a very good job running the floor. Henson and Knox were butterfingered, on the other hand, with 4 and 3 turnovers respectively. But all and all it was a good if unremarkable win. They've got one more easy challenge before exams, and then Texas. It's good to see a few problems worked out on the floor in the meantime.

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