• 70°

College Basketball: North Carolina 81, Dayton 51

By Bret Strelow

Salisbury Post

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina players claim the dedication to defense has improved.

Dayton coach Brian Gregory observed the difference first-hand.

The second-ranked Tar Heels earned their ninth consecutive win with an

81-51 victory against the visiting Flyers on Sunday afternoon.

Dayton (10-3) shot 21.9 percent in the first half, which ended with North Carolina (12-1) holding a

34-18 lead. The Flyers shot 30.5 percent for the game and became the fifth straight UNC opponent to fall short of 40 percent.

“It’s a different team,” Gregory said. “I think they’ve pinpointed what they need to get better at, and they’re doing a good job of doing it. What they do is force you to make a basketball play on every single possession. Unfortunately, in this day and age, there’s just not a lot of guys that can do that all the time. And maybe a couple of them are playing on their team.”

North Carolina senior Wes Miller said he noticed a change after his team’s 94-69 victory against High Point on Dec. 9.

UNC Asheville scored 39 first-half points against UNC a week later but shot only 23.3 percent in the second half.

Florida Atlantic, Rutgers and Dayton have failed to score 20 first-half points against the Tar Heels in their last four games.

“You can see it with defensive grading from the beginning of the year until now,” UNC guard Marcus Ginyard said. “The beginning of the year, whoever wins the defensive award would win it by nine, 10, 11 more good plays on defense. Now they’re winning by two or three.”

Tyler Hansbrough (17 points), Brandan Wright (16 points) and Wayne Ellington (15 points) led a UNC offense that committed 21 turnovers against the Flyers.

The Tar Heels defense was still strong enough to produce a blowout victory.

“When you hold a team to 21 percent in the first half, you know that you’re going to be OK regardless of what you’re doing on offense,” UNC coach Roy Williams said.


Contact Bret Strelow at 704-797-4258 or bstrelow@salisburypost.com.


Comments closed.


Hundreds turn out for annual Juneteenth celebration on newest federal holiday


Between local champions and an upcoming state tournament, pickleball putting Salisbury on map


Business leaders hope to draw big crowd for job fair at West End Plaza


Officers cleared in Mooresville shooting


From firefighter to photographer, Brianna Mitschele is ready to capture more moments in downtown Salisbury


25 years later, runners reflect on Olympic torch’s trip through Rowan


Commissioners to consider designating Newberry Hall House as county historic landmark

Farm & Garden

51st annual Old Southeast Threshers’ Reunion set for July 1-5


Biz Roundup: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation awards grants from Salisbury to Jerusalem


Kristy Woodson Harvey: For Dad


South Salisbury Fire Department activates new weather siren


Library Notes: Meet the ‘Dare Devil Dogs’ in Week 5


Q&A with Bishop Tim Smith


Wolfpack tops Stanford falls in College World Series opener


‘Down by the Praise Pond’ shares local author’s faith in debut children’s book


Driver crashes into crowd at Pride parade in Florida; 1 dead


Search continues after 3 tubers die, 2 disappear at dam


Research from NC State professors is aboard space station


Livingstone College celebrates federal recognition of Juneteenth


Wolfpack faces Stanford today in College World Series


Tropical weather lashes Gulf Coast with winds, rain


Girl attacked by bear in Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Cooper vetoes bill that would have allowed more to carry guns in churches


Two tubers remain missing after going over Dan River dam