CHAPEL HILL — Not a great first half here at the Smith Center for No. 1 North Carolina, which leads Mississippi Valley State 41-27. The Delta Devils hung with the Tar Heels throughout much of the first 20 minutes, until Carolina began to pull away late in the half.
Some quickie thoughts:
-Free throws have been problematic for the Heels. They made just 8 of 19 during the first half. Tyler Zeller missed both of his attempts from the line and Stillman White missed all three of his.
-UNC is shooting 42.1 percent from the field, with John Henson struggling in particular. He has made 3 of his 9 attempts, and missed three short shots in a row at one point during one frustrating stretch. Still, Henson and Harrison Barnes lead the Heels with 10 points apiece.
-Henson also has 10 rebounds. Not bad: a double-double in the first half.
-Some good: The Heels are again playing some stout defense, holding the Delta Devils to just 30.8 percent shooting. Mississippi Valley State was going to have to shoot the 3 well to stay in the game and the Devils aren’t getting it done there. They’ve made just 2 of their 14 3-point attempts.
-Mississippi Valley has four assists and nine turnovers. After covering Florida State for four years, that’s the kind of assist-to-turnover ratio that I’ve grown accustomed to seeing. UNC, meanwhile, has 11 assists and seven turnovers – still probably more than coach Roy Williams would like to see.
That’s all for now. Second half upcoming …