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Strickland leads UNC past Tribe, 85-60

Dexter Strickland scored a career-high 19 points, and North Carolina had five players reach double figures in an 85-60 rout of William & Mary on Tuesday night.

Tyler Zeller and Leslie McDonald added 14 points apiece for the Tar Heels (8-4), who bounced back from a final-seconds loss to Texas by putting the Tribe away with two notable first-half runs.

Harrison Barnes scored 13 points and fellow freshman Reggie Bullock added 11 for North Carolina, which shot nearly 44 percent and took advantage of some awful early shooting by the Tribe.

Kyle Gaillard scored a career-high 25 points on 11-of-14 shooting for William & Mary (4-7).

The Tribe shot 37 percent, but were held to one field goal during a significant stretch of more than 11 minutes of the first half, then didn't get closer than 20 points after the break and finished with 21 turnovers.

North Carolina certainly had a much easier time against the Tribe this time than they did in the first round of last year's NIT. The Tar Heels won that one 80-72, but decided this one much sooner by taking command with a pair of big spurts.

They used a 14-2 run midway through the first half to go up by double figures, then pushed the lead into the 20s with a 20-4 burst late in the half. Zeller's three-point play capped the second run, making it 40-16 with 1:23 before the break.

Most of the early heavy lifting, though, was done by North Carolina's non-starters. The reserves scored 19 of the Tar Heels' first 33 points — including 10 at that point from McDonald, a backup guard who had his third double-figure game of the season.

Strickland, who was 8 of 12, finished in double figures for the third straight game, the first time in his college career he's done that, and surpassed the 18 points he scored last year against Rutgers. Bullock had his highest-scoring game since he missed the UNC Asheville win on Nov. 23 with left knee irritation.

Meanwhile, the Tribe couldn't get anything to fall early and spent the rest of the night playing catch-up. They shot below 27 percent in the first half, missed their first 12 3-pointers and misfired on 18 of 19 attempts during the 11-minute stretch when things got away from them.

Long-armed sophomore John Henson, who has been bothered by a sprained right thumb, was held out of the second half as a precaution, after leaving with 2:04 before halftime with what team spokesman Steve Kirschner described as a continuation of that injury.

Brandon Britt had 15 points for the Tribe, who are coached by former North Carolina player Tony Shaver and fell to 0-6 on the road.