BOSTON – Freshman Harrison Barnes scored 26 points, including going 4 of 7 from 3-point range, to lead No. 23 North Carolina to a 106-74 victory over Boston College on Tuesday night.
Tyler Zeller scored 18 points and Reggie Bullock hit four 3-pointers during a 22-4 surge late in the first half when the Tar Heels (16-5, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) turned a five-point deficit into a 13-point lead. Bullock scored 14 points in the first half and finished with 16 as Carolina shot 57 percent from the field in the game.
Joe Trapani had a season-high 25 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for Boston College (14-8, 4-4).
Larry Drew II had nine assists for Carolina, which missed its season high in scoring by one point when coach Roy Williams emptied his bench in the final 2 minutes, up by more than 30.
The Tar Heels had been as high as No. 8 in The Associated Press Top 25 before consecutive losses to Vanderbilt and Minnesota helped knock them from the rankings at the end of November. They stayed out for 10 weeks before creeping back in at No. 23 on Monday after winning 11 of their last 13 games, with losses to Georgia Tech and Texas.
BC had beaten Carolina two straight times, including an 85-78 win in Chapel Hill in 2009 when the Tar Heels were the No. 1 team in the country. Carolina went on to win the NCAA championship, and BC went on to lose to Harvard in its next game.
There would be no upset this year.
The Eagles have been struggling — losing to Harvard for the third straight year and dropping three of their last four games, including an 84-68 loss to Duke on Thursday.
A crowd of 7,883 took in the game during a break in the blizzard that threatened to shut down the city. It saw BC jump to an 18-13 lead in the first 8 minutes before Carolina scored 22 of the next 26 points to take a 13-point lead. Bullock hit four 3-pointers during the stretch.
The Tar Heels scored 14 of the first 19 points in the second half — seven from Barnes, including a 3-pointer that gave them a 63-40 lead with 16 minutes left.
Reggie Jackson, the No. 2 scorer in the ACC with an 18.5-point average, was held scoreless in the first 12 minutes of the game and had four points at the break. He did not score in the second half until making two free throws with 8:33 to play; he finished with six points.
Corey Raji scored 16 points and Biko Paris had 11 for BC.