North Carolina's Cameron Johnson (13) drives to the basket while UNC Wilmington's Kai Toews (10), Shawn O'Connell (4) and Jaylen Fornes (1) defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

No. 14 North Carolina beats UNC Wilmington 97-69

December 05, 2018 - 11:22 pm

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Cameron Johnson scored 21 points to help No. 14 North Carolina beat UNC Wilmington 97-69 on Wednesday night.

Freshman forward Nassir Little added 14 points in the Tar Heels' first game since losing at No. 5 Michigan last week. North Carolina (7-2) led 44-35 at halftime but went on a 30-3 run to blow this one open and finish the game shooting 49 percent.

Junior guard Seventh Woods had seven points and three assists while starting at the point with Coby White sitting due to a sore ankle. Kenny Williams had a solid all-around floor game with 11 points, five rebounds and eight assists.

Jeantal Cylla had 16 points to lead UNC Wilmington, coached by former UNC assistant C.B. McGrath. The Seahawks (4-6) trailed just 44-39 early in the second half before the shots stopped falling and the Tar Heels got loose in transition to turn the game into a rout.

BIG PICTURE

UNC Wilmington: Things haven't been easy in either of the Seahawks' games against power-conference opponents this season. They lost Nov. 9 at home against Stanford, and that game got away when they went the last 7½ minutes before halftime without a basket. They hung with the Tar Heels for a half despite shooting just 39 percent before hitting a similar drought, this time nearly seven second-half minutes. And turnovers were again a problem, with the Seahawks committing 25 that led to 34 points for the Tar Heels after watching the Cardinal score 28 points off 20 turnovers last month.

North Carolina: Last week's loss at Michigan left Roy Williams fuming and saying he wasn't doing a good enough job coaching this group to play its best. The good news for Williams? The Tar Heels play just four games in December — their fewest since the 1961-62 season under a first-year coach named Dean Smith — so Williams will have plenty of time to orchestrate practices and massage the flaws out of his team.

UP NEXT

UNC Wilmington: The Seahawks visit No. 25 Furman on Dec. 15.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels head into an exam break before hosting top-ranked and unbeaten Gonzaga on Dec. 15 in one of the biggest nonconference games of the college basketball season.

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