The Tar Heels finished off their pre-exam slate of games with a bang Wednesday night, shooting the lights out against Western Carolina at the Smith Center. Even though the Catamounts jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, it was all Tar Heels from there, thanks in part to a 20-0 run.
Although this season has been the Luke Maye show so far, it was freshman Jalek Felton that stood out most tonight. Yes, Maye had himself another double-double, but Felton led the team in scoring with 15 points. He made all four of his three-point attempts, and missed just three of his eight shots from the field. Jalek also had three rebounds and five assists.
On a night when the entire team did well offensively, it was great to see Felton get going. The team is going to need him while Seventh Woods recovers from a stress fracture in his foot that will keep him out indefinitely. In all, six players made it into double figures for the Tar Heels. Kenny Williams started hot again, and finished second on the team with 13 points. Joel Berry II and Maye were not far behind with 12 each.
The statistic that Roy Williams will undoubtedly like the most is that the Tar Heels assisted on 31 of the team’s 37 field goals. UNC also dominated Western Carolina on the boards, out-rebounding the Catamounts 53-25. The Tar Heel bench was also responsible for 54 of the team’s points.
It seemed like everything the Tar Heels did on Wednesday worked. The ball went in the basket with ease, and they were able to pull off an easy victory because of it. Getting contributions up and down the lineup is always important, and having Felton put on a show the way he did just gives the team another weapon to turn to. His confidence is crucially important heading into conference play, and seeing the ball fall in as often as it did for him tonight can only help.
Carolina takes a break for exams before taking on Tennessee in Knoxville on December 17th.