Maye, No. 8 UNC rout N.C. State
By PATRICK MASON
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
CHAPEL HILL — They started to come off the floor with around five minutes left to play. And with 3:19 remaining Garrison Brooks, the last North Carolina starter to see minutes, took a seat as the UNC men’s basketball team would close this one out with its bench.
The 113-96 rout of visiting N.C. State on Tuesday was well into its final stages when coach Roy Williams emptied the bench, and the eighth-ranked Tar Heels went on to claim their sixth consecutive win and a season-series sweep of the Wolfpack.
“There’s a lot of things I liked, like shooting 56 percent for the game,” Williams said. “We had a stretch in the first half that we made a bunch of shots then all of a sudden we were running up and down and getting really good shots.”
It was the most points scored by the Tar Heels (18-4, 8-1 ACC) this season since a 116-67 win over Elon back on Nov. 9 in the second game of the season, and also coincidentally the last time UNC was ranked No. 8. It was also the most points scored by UNC against the Wolfpack in the two teams’ history.
For N.C State (16-7, 4-6), the loss was its third in a row, though the offensive output exceeded its season average of 81.6 points per game. The Wolfpack even drew loud cheers from the home crowd upon scoring their 25th point of the game, which came with 6:05 left in the first half, a sarcastic nod to N.C. State’s Saturday loss to Virginia Tech in which it managed just 24 points.
But here, the Wolfpack shot well, finishing at 50 percent for the game (37-of-74) including making seven of their 17 3-point attempts. But while the offense was finding ways to score, led by Braxton Beverly’s 17 points, N.C. State couldn’t keep up as its slow-moving defense allowed UNC to score with ease and take a 56-40 lead into halftime.
UNC’s Luke Maye, who seems to bring out his best against the Wolfpack in his career, turned in a double-double with game-highs in points (31) and rebounds (12). It was his fourth career 30-point game, and third against the Wolfpack. Maye also added 12 rebounds.
“It’s just every time I play them, being an in-state kid, I try to play as well as I can every game, but it feels a little sweeter when you beat a team from the same state you’re born in,” said Maye, a Huntersville native. “I love rebounding. I think it’s a stat that goes unnoticed, and it really breaks apart a defense when you get an offensive rebound, and I’ve learned that being a defensive player.”
In all, five Tar Heels scored in double figures, with Coby White scoring 21 points. Cam Johnson and Kenny Williams each finished with 17, and Nassir Little came off the bench to add 12.
Garrison Brooks had a strong line, too, as the forward grabbed 10 rebounds, scored eight points and dished six assists.
CJ Bryce added 15 points for N.C. State, while DJ Funderburk (14), Torin Dorn (11) and Devon Daniels (10) each finished in double figures.
UNC hosts unranked Miami at noon on Saturday. N.C. State travels to Pitt on Saturday for a 2 p.m. tip.