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ACC Basketball: North Carolina 105, Miami 64

By Nick Bowton

Salisbury Post

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina led Miami by 22 points when officials ejected Hurricanes coach Frank Haith in the second half Wednesday.

Haith didn’t like what he’d seen through 32 minutes. He wouldn’t have liked what he saw after that any better.

The third-ranked Tar Heels mauled Miami 105-64 at the Smith Center, as five players scored in double figures and 12 scored at least two points.

“It was a little snowball effect,” UNC coach Roy Williams understated. “We got running; we’ve got more players. It was a good night for us — five guys in double figures, and a lot of guys that came in off the bench really did some good things for us. Marcus (Ginyard) was active for us defensively. Wes (Miller) made a couple 3s. Alex (Stephenson) and Deon (Thompson) and Danny (Green). You go down the line.

“I’d say everybody had a good night in a lot of different ways.”

Everybody associated with the Tar Heels, at least.

North Carolina (20-2, 6-1 ACC) shot 56.2 percent from the field, outrebounded Miami (9-13, 2-6) 49-24 and had 26 assists on 36 field goals.

As for the Hurricanes?

Their five starters scored a combined six points in the first half, they shot 35.5 percent from the field and they gave up the most points they have all season.

“They can come at you in waves,” Haith said. “Roy’s got a great team, and they really took it to us tonight. Trust me, he’s got a team.”

The Tar Heels didn’t have any trouble convincing anyone who watched the game last night.

While Miami remained close through much of the first half, Wayne Ellington (14 points) sparked an 8-1 run to end the half and give the Tar Heels a 41-24 lead. Ellington made back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 1:12, and Green made a pair of free throws following Haith’s first technical.

That spurt created some space between the two teams. The start of the second half saw the gap go from lopsided to plain ridiculous.

After the ‘Canes scored the first four points of the half, UNC went on a 19-5 run for a 62-35 lead. Miami tried to stay in the game by peppering 3s in between small Tar Heels runs, but the lead inched closer to 30 points as the half went on.

It got there a few minutes after Haith received his second technical.

With about eight minutes remaining, Ellington converted a three-point play at one end and Tyler Hansbrough (game-high 22 points, 13 rebounds) blocked a shot at the other end. Upset with a no-call, Haith flamboyantly stomped down the sideline in front of his bench.

That’s all it took for a second technical, and UNC finished the game on a 32-13 run.

“It didn’t really matter to us,” Green said of Haith’s ejection. “We’re gonna play the way we’re supposed to play regardless.”

That much was evident over the final eight minutes.

A Hansbrough free throw made it 84-54 with 5:56 remaining, and Green went on a personal 8-0 run to give the Tar Heels their first 40-point lead at 98-57 with 2:36 left. Even walk-on Dewey Burke got in on the fun, making a 3 from the right win to push UNC over the 100-point mark.

The final total matched the Tar Heels’ highest output of the season — they defeated Florida Atlantic 105-52 on Dec. 19 — and has UNC clicking offensively, if nothing else, going into its game at North Carolina State on Saturday.

“I’d rather go in playing well,” Williams said, “than playing sorry.”

*

NOTES: A representative from General Mills came to Chapel Hill for a pre-game news conference announcing a North Carolina men’s basketball Wheaties box. The UNC boxes will be distributed widely throughout the state and also regionally beginning this week. … Point guard Bobby Frasor played nine minutes after missing the last four games with a sore right foot. He said he’d evaluate how the foot felt today. … Reyshawn Terry (10 points) and Ty Lawson (13) also scored in double figures for UNC, while freshman Brandan Wright didn’t score in double figures (eight) for only the second time this season. … Junior point guard Quentin Thomas had a career-high eight assists and just one turnover.

*

Contact Nick Bowton at 704-797-4256 or nbowton@salisburypost.com.

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