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UNC 96, Stanford 72: The Joel Berry and Kenny Williams Show

Two bad, bad men showed up in Carolina blue and brought the pain to the Cardinal.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Stanford Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

If you stayed up for UNC’s late night tilt with Stanford, you got treated to a show. Kenny Williams started the game on an absolute tear from three-point range, draining six of his eight shots from deep in the game. For a while, he was the only Tar Heel in the scoring column. That was enough to keep things afloat until Joel Berry II returned with a vengeance.

Williams and Berry combined for 49 of Carolina’s 96 points. On a night when the young big men struggled and Luke Maye had a quiet-by-his-standards performance, it was exactly what the Tar Heels needed. Berry hit five of his shots from long range and 10 of 19 from the field to lead the way.

The Cardinal stayed in the game by shooting around a 50% clip for the first half and into the second. They finished at 43% for the game, ultimately unable to keep up with the onslaught from the Heels. Despite the fact that UNC turned the ball over 14 times, they managed to score 25 points off of Stanford’s 19 giveaways. Carolina also out-rebounded the Cardinal 42-32.

Carolina got into a bit of foul trouble with their big men. Garrison Brooks picked up three fouls in seemingly an instant, and got another one for good measure. Sterling Manley and Brandon Huffman also each had four fouls. That’s a problem to worry about going forward with the presence down low greatly impacted by all three freshmen needing to ride the pine for extended periods of time. To add insult to that injury, Brooks’ and Manley’s four fouls came in 12 minutes of action. Huffman’s came in just nine.

On the positive side, Carolina showed that they can beat you multiple ways. Williams shooting the lights out opened the door for Berry’s second-half surge. Both were able to pick up the slack from an off night by Maye and foul trouble from the others. Adding Cameron Johnson to that shooting mix in a few weeks seems like a recipe for a lot of amazing shooting nights like this one.

In what may have him running the Dean Dome steps for the rest of eternity, Jalek Felton sent the away crowd (which represented about half of those in attendance) home happy with a dunk so brutal that the poor defender may never be able to recover. See for yourself:

Wowza. Roy Williams isn’t going to appreciate that, but the rest of us sure can.

The Heels play again on Thanksgiving Day in the PK80 tournament, squaring off with Portland at 2:30 pm.