Feb 1, 2014; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Brice Johnson (11) and North Carolina State Wolfpack forward T.J. Warren (24) fight for the ball in the second half. The Tar Heels defeated the Wolfpack 84-70 at Dean E. Smith Student Activities Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina Pummels NC State 84-70

The North Carolina Tar Heels finished off the North Carolina State Wolfpack on Saturday afternoon, improving to 4-4 in ACC play. Leslie McDonald led all Tar Heels with 20 points on 7-13 shooting, and James Michael McAdoo added in 16 points and 13 boards. TJ Warren finished strong in defeat, with 21 points on 9-16 shooting. The Heels will rest up before facing Maryland at home on Tuesday night.

The Tar Heels jumped all over the Pack right out of the gate, springing out to a 16-4 lead with 13:04 left in the first half. The lead stretched to as many as 17 at halftime, but the Wolfpack hung around. They cut the lead to 10 late in the second half, but Carolina hit their free throws and hung on to improve their record to 14-7 overall.

UNC shot 28 for 69, or just over 40 percent, from the field on Saturday afternoon, including a 3-12 mark from three. The Heels really excelled however at the free throw line, finishing with only eight misses for 25 makes. NC State couldn’t equal that sucess, hanging just above 50% at the line on a 14-26 performance.

UNC had six players score more than eight points, with JMM, Marcus Paige, and Leslie McDonald leading the way. Brice Johnston chipped in an impressive 10 points off the bench, while also pulling in seven rebounds. Guard Desmond Lee provided the punch off the bench for the Pack with 18 points on 7-11 shooting.

It was a great statement win for the Tar Heels, who have not lost to NC State at home since 2003. UNC now faces one of its most important stretches during the season after the Maryland game. Notre Dame, Duke, and Pittsburgh await the Heels over the next half a month. Those games will be real challenges while also serving as real opportunities to make some statements about how good this UNC team can be.

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Tags: Basketball Dean Smith Center North Carolina Tar Heels

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