Published November 11, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Greg Gantt provided plenty of scoring for Florida Atlantic. The problem was his teammates failed to back him up against 11th-ranked North Carolina.
Gantt finished with 18 points in an 80-56 loss to the Tar Heels on Sunday. The senior also hit four 3-pointers, but he was the only Owls player to reach double figures in their season opener.
"We've still got to get some chemistry down," Gantt said. "I think we're getting better in practice as far as it was a couple of weeks ago. The guys still don't fully understand what we're doing, but once they do, we should be much better."
Gantt had 13 points in the first half to help Florida Atlantic hang around and trail just 32-24 at the break. But the Tar Heels pushed the lead to double figures early in the second half, then blew the game open in the final 7 minutes.
While Gantt finished 7 for 17 from the field, the rest of his team shot 10 for 44 (23 percent). Dragan Sekelja and Pablo Bertone each had nine points.
"We need a lot more from a lot more people," Florida Atlantic coach Mike Jarvis said.
James Michael McAdoo had 19 points and 11 rebounds for North Carolina. McAdoo was expected to take the lead for UNC entering the season after the loss of four NBA first-round draft picks. The sophomore had 26 points and 14 rebounds in the season-opening win against Gardner-Webb, then followed that with an 8-for-17 shooting performance against the Owls (0-1).
Reggie Bullock added 16 for the Tar Heels (2-0), who shot 44 percent from both the field and the foul line.
The game was an opening-round contest in the Maui Invitational, though it is separate from the tournament rounds in Hawaii.
This was North Carolina's last home game until December in a tough opening month of the schedule. The Tar Heels next travel to Long Beach State on Friday night, then head to Hawaii to face Mississippi State to start the Maui Invitational's tournament rounds. After three games there, North Carolina travels to top-ranked Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 27.
The Tar Heels don't play at the Smith Center again until facing UAB on Dec. 1.
Among the most pressing concerns for coach Roy Williams: the Tar Heels missed a bunch of free throws just as they did in the opener two days earlier. After going just 9 for 19 against Gardner-Webb, the Tar Heels missed 11 of their first 15 free throws and finished at 12 for 27 for the game.
The bigger Tar Heels took a 56-36 rebounding advantage that led to 16 second-chance points and 10 more shot attempts.