Chapel Hill, NC – The fifth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels continue an extended homestand this evening, as they welcome the Appalachian State Mountaineers to Chapel Hill, for a showdown at the Smith Center.
Roy Williams' Tar Heels have had a great deal of success at home, winning all five games this season, 21 straight overall and 51 consecutive games against non-conference opponents in Chapel Hill. The team opened this nine-game homestand with back-to-back wins over Evansville (97-48) and most recently, Long Beach State (84-78).
Appalachian State is one game under .500 on the season and comes into this contest with a three-game losing streak in tow. The team dropped its first home decision this year last time out, falling 65-48 to East Tennessee State.
North Carolina has won all four previous meetings between the two teams.
The Mountaineers are giving up slightly more than they are scoring on the season and that inconsistency is certainly a big reason for the sub par record thus far. While the defensive effort has been decent, holding foes to just 66.9 ppg on .412 shooting, the offensive effort has been stagnant at times, with ASU netting a modest 66.4 ppg. The team does have three players currently averaging double figures, led by Jamaal Trice's 12.8 ppg. Omar Carter is a close second at 12.6 ppg and is followed by Rodney Milum's 10.0 ppg. ASU was no match for ETSU's interior game, allowing 38 points in the paint, while giving up 13 offensive boards. Trice and Carter led the way for the Mountaineers with 12 points each in the loss, but ASU had 18 turnovers and was outscored at the free-throw line, 15-6.
The Tar Heels were once again led by their stellar frontcourt in the win over Long Beach State in what turned out to be a very competitive matchup when all was said and done. Tyler Zeller hit 12-of-17 shots from the floor and finished with a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds. Harrison Barnes poured in 20 points and John Henson finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. The team also got some solid scoring from the bench, led by Reggie Bullock, who netted 15 points. Point guard Kendall Marshall was once again a superior distributor, racking up 16 assists with just two turnovers. The win was an example of UNC's blueprint for success this season, as there may not be a better frontcourt in the country. Barnes leads the team in scoring at 17.5 ppg. Henson is next in line at 15.0 ppg and leads the team in both rebounding (10.6 rpg) and blocked shots (33). Zeller adds to the depth with 13.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.