The game started well enough with Marcus Paige putting UNC ahead with a three on the game's first possession. That would be the last three the Tar Heels would hit for awhile and shooting overall was a dicey matter for much of the first half. Meanwhile, UCLA was hitting shots including four straight threes by Isaac Hamilton to fuel the Bruins to a 28-19 lead with 7:37 left.
While UNC didn't shoot the ball well, Roy Williams was again unhappy with Brice Johnson's early effort. Isaiah Hicks subbed for Johnson around the 16 minute mark. The senior forward did not enter the game again for eight minutes. Upon his return to the game Johnson responded to Williams' prodding with 13 of UNC's final 19 points in the half. The Tar Heels outscored UCLA 19-10 over that span to head to the locker room tied at 38.
Having shaken off the poor shooting, UNC opened the second half in full control of the game pulling out to a 45-38 lead in the opening two minutes. Justin Jackson broke a streak of 12 straight missed three pointers and even Joel James got into the action running the floor to get a dunk on the break. UCLA didn't quite go away and pulled to within 60-57 with 10:38 left putting pressure on the Tar Heels to keep control of the game.
And take control UNC did using a 13-0 run to turn a three point game into a blowout. Over a 5:31 span, the Tar Heels made 11 straight baskets with a healthy dose of Joel Berry and Brice Johnson doing most of the damage.
Brice Johnson scored a career high 27 points on 11-12 shooting, all eleven makes came after he missed his first shot of the game. Johnson also grabbed nine rebounds. In the two games since Kennedy Meeks went out, Johnson has scored 52 points on 22-29 shooting. Joel Berry also had a career high with 17 points to go with five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Isaiah Hicks came off the bench for 12 points and four rebounds despite having four fouls. Despite shooting just 2-9, Paige still managed 10 points while dishing out five assists and grabbing four rebounds.