James Michael McAdoo posted 19 points and 11 rebounds as No. 11 North Carolina took an 80-56 win over Florida International.
Reggie Bullock netted 16 points and Brice Johnson added 12, while Joel James had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Tar Heels (2-0), who have won both their games this season by double digits.
"I think we got a heck of a lot better as a team today," said North Carolina head coach Roy Williams. "To shoot 34 percent in the first half and then shoot 55 percent in the second half, I told those last five guys who were 0-3 in the last minute they were killing our field goal percentage. I do think we got better as a team. I think we were better defensively."
Greg Gantt had 18 points and was the only player in double figures for the Owls (0-1), who shot just 27.9 percent in the contest.
"They have a lot more weapons than we do," said Florida International head coach Mike Jarvis. "I'm sure we helped their confidence today too, but they're going to be good. We're going to be better. Today is one of those days hopefully you learn something from it. We can learn something from this game, play a little bit better in the next one, then it's worth a try."
Florida Atlantic never led in the game, but did keep the contest close in the first half and tied it at one point, but a 6-2 run to close the half helped the Tar Heels take a 32-24 lead into the break.
North Carolina scored the first five points of the second half for a 13-point advantage, but the Owls answered with a 7-2 run to get it back to an eight- point game.
However, a 9-3 run a few minutes later saw the Tar Heels make it a 60-43 contest on a McAdoo dunk with just over nine minutes to play.
Florida Atlantic didn't get closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
North Carolina plays at Long Beach State on Friday ... The only other meeting in this series was back in 2006 when the Tar Heels took a 105-52 win ... North Carolina won the rebounding battle, 56-36.