North Carolina coach Roy Williams’ post game comments following win over Tulane on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Luke Maye leads Tar Heels with 22 points. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com
North Carolina coach Roy Williams’ post game comments following win over Tulane on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Luke Maye leads Tar Heels with 22 points. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

North Carolina

Tulane’s ‘SportsCenter’ moment doesn’t overshadow UNC’s dominant performance

December 03, 2017 05:49 PM

CHAPEL HILL

Luke Maye expected to be on “SportsCenter” on Sunday night.

The junior forward led No. 13 North Carolina to a 97-73 home win over Tulane on Sunday afternoon.

North Carolina’s Luke Maye (32) drives against Tulane’s Blake Paul (23) during the second half on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. e.
Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

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Maye had 22 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high four blocks. But Maye didn’t think he would be on ESPN for his standout play, rather for being on the wrong side of Melvin Frazier’s dunk.

“It will be pretty cool to see myself on the ‘top 10’ tonight,” Maye joked.

The Tar Heels (8-1) dominated Tulane (6-2) in just about every way: rebounding, shooting and with a swarming defensive effort in the first half.

UNC jumped out to a 21-4 lead in the first 7 minutes and barely looked back.

“That was a fun game,” junior guard Kenny Williams said. “We were pretty locked in from the beginning.”

North Carolina’s Kenny Williams (24) puts up a shot over Tulane’s Jordan Cornish (0) during the first half on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

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But Frazier, who finished with a game-high 27 points, did produce the highlight of the game, UNC’s sixth in 11 days.

“We knew he had a little bit of bounce in him,” Williams said of Frazier.

Frazier started his move to the basket from the right wing, in front of UNC’s bench, and then dribbled the ball around his back to get around Brandon Robinson. Frazier got into the lane and Maye came over to challenge the dunk.

Frazier took off, with his left foot just inside the ACC logo in the paint, and soared over Maye for the two points.

Given the dunk, at 11:59 in the first half, only cut UNC’s lead to 23-8, the Tar Heels weren’t too worried about it.

But Maye said there’s no way he was going to duck out of the way, NBA All-Star Game style, just to avoid the dunk.

“I’m going to go up and challenge every single time,” Maye said. “If he dunks it, he dunks it, if he doesn’t, he doesn’t. I’m still going to play my game, and I’m not really worried about it.”

The Tar Heels, who made 65.5 percent of their shots for the game, had plenty of their own highlights:

▪  Senior guard Joel Berry, who finished with 13 points, had an impressive block of Tulane’s Caleb Daniels at 6:25.

▪  Maye had a great pass to freshman forward Brandon Huffman for a dunk at 6:01 in the first half, to extend UNC’s lead to 39-15. It was one of four assists for Maye, which matches his career high.

North Carolina’s Brandon Huffman (42) dunks over Tulane’s Blake Paul (23) during the first half on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

Huffman, who has only played a total of 3 minutes the past two games, took his turn as the “Freshman Big of the Game” with nine points and six rebounds in 12 minutes.

▪  Williams, who again flourished in the first half, beat the buzzer at the end of the first half for two of his 13 points.

The only letdown for UNC was Shea Rush’s 3-pointer from the left corner bounced out with 13 seconds left to prevent the Heels from getting to the 100-point mark and the crowd from getting free biscuits.

North Carolina’s Brandon Robinson (4), Luke Maye (32), Kenny Williams (24) and Theo Pinson (1) on the bench, react as they watch reserve player Shea Rush’s (11) shot bounce off the rim during the closing minute of play against Tulane on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. North Carolina rolled to aa97-73 victory over Tulane.
Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

“We got some good moments from a lot of guys,” UNC coach Roy Williams said.

Tulane might have had the best moment but UNC won by 24. That was a trade the Heels will gladly make.

“It’s always better to come out with the win, rather than hang your hat on one play,” Kenny Williams said.

Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio