11/27 20:19 CST No. 5 Carolina rolls past No. 22 UCLA, 78-56
No. 5 Carolina rolls past No. 22 UCLA, 78-56
By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) --- Marcus Paige scored 21 points and had five
assists, Justin Jackson scored 12 points and No. 5 North Carolina had little
trouble on the way to beating No. 22 UCLA 78-56 on Thursday night in the
consolation round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Isaiah Hicks and J.P. Tokoto each scored 10 points for the Tar Heels (4-1), who
closed the first half on a 32-11 run and put the game absolutely away with a
15-0 second-half run.
Paige had back-to-back 3-pointers to get that second run going, as North
Carolina turned a nine-point edge into a 62-38 lead with 9:12 left.
Norman Powell scored 15 points for UCLA (4-2), which dropped its second
straight. Kevon Looney scored 11 points and Bryce Alford finished with 10
points for the Bruins.
It was a matchup of storied programs. Between them, North Carolina and UCLA
have 35 Final Four appearances and 16 national championships --- though both
saw their chances of returning from the Bahamas with a title vanish with losses
in Thursday's quarterfinals.
A shot at fifth place will have to do for North Carolina, which will try to
leave Atlantis with a 2-1 mark after it plays either No. 18 Florida or
Alabama-Birmingham on Friday night.
Both teams led for exactly 9 minutes, 40 seconds in the first half, suggesting
things were fairly even.
It wasn't even close.
UCLA raced out to an 18-11 lead. After that, it was all Carolina. The Tar Heels
outscored UCLA by 21 points in the final 13 minutes of the half, their reserves
outscoring the Bruins' bench 18-0. Theo Pinson slammed in an offensive rebound
just before the buzzer to give North Carolina a 43-29 lead at halftime.
The Bruins' comeback hopes took a hit just six seconds into the second half
when Kevon Looney picked up his fourth foul and headed to the bench.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels are now 7-3 against UCLA. ... The 22-point margin
is North Carolina's biggest win over a ranked opponent since beating then-No.
13 Michigan State 98-63 on Dec. 3, 2008.
UCLA: Something about playing North Carolina at an in-season tournament doesn't
work for the Bruins. Thursday's game was the 17th anniversary of the Tar Heels'
109-68 win over the Bruins at the Great Alaska Shootout. ... UCLA came into the
game shooting 39 percent from 3-point range this season. The Bruins were 1 for
14 from beyond the arc Thursday.
North Carolina: Either No. 18 Florida or Alabama-Birmingham in fifth-place game
UCLA: Either No. 18 Florida or Alabama-Birmingham in seventh-place game Friday.