UNC 91, UNC-Asheville 75

If you looked up the definition of a trap game, I wouldn't be surprised to find that it read "playing a smaller state school at the opening of their new arena with only one day's rest after playing a game on an aircraft carrier with the president in attendance." I would also find your dictionary oddly specific. Seeing as how that's the situation the Tar Heels found themselves incoming into today's game, we can forgive them a poor first half, one that found them trailing UNCA by five early. UNC was never able to fully shake the Bulldogs, relying on a 10-3 run to end the half to give them a comfortable margin that would last the rest of the game.

That late half run included some masterful play from Kendall Marshall, who would finish with 15 assists, on shy of his career high. It helped that he had Tyler Zeller and John Henson to find; both players dwarfed most of the smaller Asheville big men. The two would have almost half of the team's points, scoring 27 and 20, respectively. Henson was one rebound shy of a double-double in the first half, as the team either took the lessons of the Michigan State game to heart or just took advantage of their smaller opponents.

What kept Asheville in the game more than anything was turnovers. The Heels coughed the ball up 17 times, 10 of them coming off UNCA steals. Zeller and Harrison Barnes were the biggest culprits, although P.J. Hairston had two in only eleven minutes of play. 

There were a couple of other things of note. UNC's first run after the Bulldogs five-point lead was with Kendall Marshall the only starter in the game; P.J. Hariston was playing Barnes' spot at the three with Justin Watts and James McAdoo in the frontcourt. I'll be curious to see if we see more of that lineup. Second, Dexter Strickland had his second good game. He's yet to take a three-point shot, but he showing more of his astounding quickness, leading the team in steals and driving to the basket almost at will. He's going to be overlooked by a lot of opponents, and it seems like he's determined to make them pay for it.

Tar Heels vs Bulldogs boxscore

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