Johnson with 12 pts, nine rebs in Canes' 73-56 Loss at No. 3 UNC
Jan. 10, 2012
Dexter Strickland added 14 for the Tar Heels (15-2, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who closed a nine-game home stand with a perfect record to rebuild some momentum after early losses to UNLV and Kentucky. The Tar Heels led almost the entire night against the Hurricanes and blew the game open with a 17-0 run spanning halftime, which staked UNC to a 23-point lead.
That was the biggest deficit of the year for the Hurricanes (9-6, 0-2), who got no closer than 15 points from there. The lopsided loss followed a one-point loss at Virginia over the weekend in coach Jim Larranaga’s first ACC game on the Miami sideline.
Guard Durand Scott added 12 points, five rebounds and three assists for Miami.
Frontcourt star Harrison Barnes struggled to a season-low six points on 2-for-12 shooting, but the Tar Heels’ often-overlooked backcourt picked up some of the slack.
Much of that started with point guard Kendall Marshall, who seemed more aggressive in looking for his shot and finished with 12 points. The pass-first sophomore has always been eager to set up shots for teammates and came in averaging fewer than five shots per game. But he finished 5-for-7 from the field to earn his first double-figure scoring game of the season to go with eight assists.
The five made baskets were a career high for Marshall, who was averaging about five points and entered the week tied for the national lead with 10.1 assists per game.
Strickland also looked active. He finished 7-for-9 from the field to reach his season-high scoring total, while he also had three rebounds, three assists and two steals.
The Tar Heels had all kinds of trouble with Miami last year. They swept the two games, but they needed a last-second 3-pointer from Barnes to win at Miami then had to rally from 19 down in the second half to win in the ACC tournament quarterfinals. That game ended with Marshall penetrating and finding Zeller for a layup that just was just barely out of his hand when the buzzer sounded.
There were no problems this time around. While North Carolina missed 14 of 16 3-pointers and didn’t shoot particularly well, the Hurricanes had even bigger struggles.
– Miami Guard Shane Larkin (son of recent Baseball Hall-of-Fame inductee Barry Larkin) had four assists, and six steals. The latter tying a season high.
– Kenny Kadji, Reggie Johnson, and Durand Scott all scored double digit points in tonight’s effort. Kadji ended with 16 points and two rebounds while Johnson and Scott recorded 12 points each. Johnson added nine rebounds while Scott also had five rebounds and three assists.
– Durand Scott went 100 percent (4-of-4) from the charity line for the fifth time this season.
– Against the number one scoring offense in NCAA Division I, Miami held the Tar Heels to 73 points, a team that is averaging 87.8 points per game this season.
– It’s Community Night at the BankUnited Center next Wednesday Jan. 18. All tickets are half off for Miami’s ACC home opener against the Clemson Tigers at 7 p.m. 1-800-GOCANES