UNC 97, Evansville 48

December games aren't meant to be difficult. At worst, they exist to bring in some money with home games and keep the team fresh. Used properly, they give teams a chance to try some new things and explore weak parts in their game.

UNC did a little of both, playing somewhat sloppily – they started the game with two turnovers – but quickly established a double-digit lead and never relented. The margin was 30 by halftime after runs of 16-3 and 16-2, and the starter left the floor for good with nine minutes remaining, cruelly leaving Tyler Zeller at 999 career points. The second team got a good workout, with Reggie Bullock truly shining with 15 points. Desmond Hubert played almost as many minutes as he had this season to date, and although he looked very green, he did pick up eight rebounds and two blocks.

Of course, rebounds weren't hard to come by. The great thing about Roy Williams' breakneck pace is that lesser teams compensate by scrambling back on defense at the first opportunity. Evansville shots looked like fire drills, with the entire team fleeing to half court by the time ball hit the rim. Carolina would finish with 59 rebounds, 39 on defense, as the Aces shot 17 of 66 from the field.

UNC's defense was pretty strong, as it has been all season. They held Evansville's leading scorer ("With a name like Colt Ryan, Evansville's best player sounds like a backup QB on Friday Night Lights.") to one shot from the field. They had nine steals. No one approached foul trouble. It was everything you could ask for in this game save the opportunity to chant about biscuits.

The one scare was P.J. Hairston going down with an ankle injury after colliding with or being stepped on by Justin Watts. He returned to the bench with the ankle iced, and although it didn't look serious I'm sure we'll hear about it soon enough. Although not from Hairston's Twitter feed, most likely.

The Heels now get a couple of days rest before the next December game, against Long Beach State, who already have a win over Pittsburgh under their belt. Then there's a week for exams, followed by the game stretch in five days that culminates with a home game against Texas. Plenty of time to work out any lingering problems before ACC play starts up.

Aces vs Tar Heels boxscore

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