Davis, Brooks assist No. 14 UNC top UNLV 78-51 in Maui Invitational tourney first round

North Carolina began its first round of the migrated Maui Invitational so severely that it confronted a prompt twofold digit opening as its Hall of Fame mentor sidelined various starters.

The fourteenth positioned Tar Heels presented a certainty building reaction to those early difficulties.

Freshman RJ Davis scored 16 focuses to enable UNC to beat UNLV 78-51 in Monday night’s initially round. Subsequent to falling behind 13-0, the Tar Heels utilized a major run crossing halftime and an overwhelming exertion on the glass to progress.

“I told them at the first timeout I wasn’t worried about the score,” coach Roy Williams said. “I was just worried about how we were playing.”

Garrison Brooks added 14 focuses and outperformed the 1,000-point mark for his profession in the principal half for the Tar Heels (2-0), who didn’t score for the initial 6 1/2 minutes. However, UNC shut the hole, at that point went on a 28-4 run for its own enormous lead.

The Tar Heels got a major commitment from senior save Andrew Platek, who had 11 focuses and hit a couple of first-half 3-pointers after UNC faltered out of the hint.

“I think we were worried for a second,” Platek said of the players’ reaction to the early deficit. “But then we just knew if we played our principles and played our game plan, we were going to be fine.”

Bryce Hamilton scored 15 focuses for the Runnin’ Rebels (0-2), who hit their initial five shots. However, UNLV made 13 of 57 shots (22.8%) while the Tar Heels caught apparently every miss to get done with a 54-35 bouncing back bit of leeway.

UNLV drove 27-22 on Caleb Grill’s 3-pointer with 4:56 left before halftime, yet had one bin throughout the following 9 1/2 minutes — including a 0-for-10 beginning after halftime as the Tar Heels transformed a 37-30 lead into a 50-31 edge on Davis’ 3 with 15:29 left.

“As the game wore on, they picked up the pressure, brought some presses, some traps, denied entries more on the wings and we didn’t do the job we needed to do to be stubborn to get open,” UNLV coach T.J. Otzelberger said.

“And eventually what it did is it just pushed us out on the floor and we were running offense at 35, 40 feet, which is a challenge.”


UNC: The Tar Heels, who climbed three spots in the AP Top 25 survey Monday evening, came out so level that Williams yanked four starters. In any case, the Tar Heels settled down at the two finishes — especially making a superior showing of building up their offense in the paint — and started cruising with certainty.

“I’m hoping that that will be something that will help them, there’s no question,” Williams said. “But we have got to play better. I mean, you can’t spot a lot of people 13 and think you’re going to come back and win.”

UNLV: The Runnin’ Rebels had an uneven beginning to their second year under T.J. Otzelberger, surrendering 49 first-half focuses in a 13-direct home misfortune toward Montana State. A while later, Otzelberger said UNLV’s “exertion, energy and serious soul wasn’t the place where it should have been.” Things taken a gander at Monday’s beginning as the Runnin’ Rebels eased back UNC’s profound bleeding edge with twofold groups, just to blur severely.

“It wasn’t that the plan started to not work,” Otzelberger said. “It was that we didn’t execute the plan.”


Junior wing Leaky Black had a game-high 10 bounce back to tie his vocation high and lead UNC’s bouncing back work, while the Tar Heels had six players with at any rate five sheets.

“We know that’s something we can lean on,” said Armando Bacot, who had 12 points and five rebounds.


The competition is being played in the North Carolina mountains rather than its customary Hawaii setting due to the Covid pandemic. That gave the Tar Heels a home-state game, yet with fan patterns in the seats and siphoned in group commotion, and took Williams back to the city where he grew up and played in secondary school.


UNC: The Tar Heels face Stanford, which beat Alabama in Monday’s last first-round game, in the elimination rounds on Tuesday.

UNLV: The Runnin’ Rebels fell into the reassurance section to confront Alabama on Tuesday.

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