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NCAAB: North Carolina handles Elon despite cold shooting

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Caleb Love and Dawson Garcia each scored 22 points to lift North Carolina to an 80-63 victory against visiting Elon on Saturday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.

North Carolina (7-2) won its fourth game in a row and boosted its home record to 5-0.

Love made four of North Carolina’s seven 3-point baskets. RJ Davis provided 11 points.

North Carolina controlled the interior, holding a 48-24 rebounding advantage. The Tar Heels outscored Elon 27-5 on free throws, helping overcome their 39.0 percent shooting from the field. Each team was charted with 16 turnovers.

Hunter McIntosh posted 16 points and Darius Burford had 12 points for Elon (2-8), which hasn’t won against a Division I opponent this season.

The Tar Heels built their lead to 54-37 in the second half, aided by Elon’s scoring drought of more than four minutes.

North Carolina led 37-29 at halftime despite shooting 29.4 percent from the field. Starters Leaky Black and Armando Bacot didn’t score in the first half.

Bacot ended up with nine points, seven rebounds and four steals, while Black pulled in a game-high eight rebounds and supplied a team-best three assists.

The teams combined to shoot 7-for-29 on first-half 3-pointers. The Tar Heels grabbed nine offensive rebounds while Elon had just one offensive board in the half.

Elon led for a good chunk of the first 10 minutes. North Carolina didn’t post a field goal until almost 4 1/2 minutes into the game. The Tar Heels outscored the Phoenix 13-5 across the final 7:09 of the half.

Even with Bacot going to the bench with two fouls, Elon’s fouls proved to be a huge factor in the opening half. The Tar Heels were 13-for-14 at the foul line prior to the break, while Elon didn’t have a free-throw attempt in the opening half.

It was another major-conference opponent for Elon, which previously lost to Florida, West Virginia, Mississippi and Temple.

–Field Level Media

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