Cameron Johnson scored 17 points and No. 14 North Carolina picked up the pace late in the first half en route to an 82-60 victory against visiting Davidson on Saturday afternoon at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Kenny Williams provided 12 points, Luke Maye had 11 points and 14 rebounds, Garrison Brooks had 11 points and Nassir Little supplied 19 points for North Carolina. Johnson has led the team in scoring in four consecutive games.
The Tar Heels (9-3) were coming off a loss to Kentucky a week earlier. They had only four games in December, the fewest since 1961 when legendary coach Dean Smith was in his first season.
Luke Frampton and Jon Axel Gudmundsson each scored 15 points for Davidson (9-4), which has lost three of its past four games heading into its Atlantic 10 opener in another week. The Wildcats shot just 29.9 percent from the field and 26.3 percent from behind the arc.
Tar Heels led 39-28 at halftime. Johnson scored seven of his eight first-half points in the final three minutes.
North Carolina began the second half on a 14-4 burst, while Davidson went a stretch with only eight points covering almost 16 minutes spanning the two halves.
The Wildcats cut a 26-point deficit to 66-51 but Tar Heels freshman Coby White responded with his first field goal, a 3-pointer at the 7:01 mark.
Davidson shot 4-for-15 on 2s and 4-for-15 on 3s in the first half, so the Tar Heels weren’t punished severely for their nine turnovers.
It took Davidson more than three minutes to score, but Frampton’s 3-pointer gave the Wildcats the lead.
A 9-0 run for Davidson pushed its lead to 24-19. That was followed by a five-minute scoring drought for the Wildcats as North Carolina scored eight consecutive points.
Davidson played its fourth consecutive game without injured standout guard Kellan Grady, who averages 19.4 points per game.
The Tar Heels are 67-11 all-time against Davidson, including 9-0 under coach Roy Williams.
--Field Level Media