Tar Heels pour it on a rusty Louisville team

North Carolina played its most complete game of the season against a higher-rated Louisville team that is coming off 19 days of inactivity in a 99-54 rout. (2/20) Carolina scored its most points of the season and shot its highest percentage of the year at 61 percent. “We shot the ball well and we didn’t turn it over much,” UNC coach Roy Williams surmised adding that the Heels caught a Louisville team “that didn’t have their game legs.” The Tar Heels had more points in the paint (58) than Louisville had in total. Big man Day’Ron Sharpe led the way […]

North Carolina played its most complete game of the season against a higher-rated Louisville team that is coming off 19 days of inactivity in a 99-54 rout. (2/20)

Carolina scored its most points of the season and shot its highest percentage of the year at 61 percent.

“We shot the ball well and we didn’t turn it over much,” UNC coach Roy Williams surmised adding that the Heels caught a Louisville team “that didn’t have their game legs.”

The Tar Heels had more points in the paint (58) than Louisville had in total. Big man Day’Ron Sharpe led the way for Carolina with 21 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in just 18 minutes of play.

Four of the five Tar Heels in double figures were the big guys inside. Armando Bacot, who was in foul trouble and played just 18 minutes, scored 14 points while Garrison Brooks tallied 12 and Walker Kessler, off the bench, added 10.

While Carolina controlled the offensive and defensive boards inside, the Heels also got good outside shooting, led by freshman Kerwin Walton who scored 19 points on five of seven three-pointers.

“It was a close game and then Kerwin hit two or three threes,” Coach Williams said. Then Sharpe took over the offensive boards.

The Tar Heels got off to a hot start, hitting seven of their first eight shots but still found themselves tied with the Cardinals midway through the first half at 18-all.

Walton swished a three to break the tie. Less than two minutes later he scored in the lane and within two minutes after that he drained back-to-back threes to put Carolina in command at 33-23.

The Tar Heels finished the first half on 21-6 run to take a 48-29 halftime lead. In the final seconds, Brooks stole a pass and got it to Caleb Love who rushed in for a dunk at the buzzer.

An active Tar Heel team didn’t let up in the second half as a 16-3 run over a five-minute period during the middle of the half ended any doubt that the home team would be victorious.

An R.J. Davis three from right in front of Roy Williams gave the Tar Heels a 76-44 advantage with just over seven minutes to go.

A 23-6 run over the last six minutes resulted in the second largest point differential in an ACC game for Carolina during the Roy Williams era. The largest differential was a 107-56 romp over N.C. State in 2017.

UNC improves to 14-7 and 8-5 in the ACC while Louisville, led by Carlik Jones’ 13 points, fall to 11-5 overall and 6-4 in the conference.

The Tar Heels, who lost a Boston College game last week, pick up a non-conference game at home against Marquette Wednesday at 7 p.m.

For a box score and more on the game, please click here.