CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Kenny Williams scored 12 points after starting the season by missing his first 10 shots, and No. 7 North Carolina dominated the first half to beat Stanford 90-72 on Monday night in its home opener.
Cameron Johnson had 17 points to lead four players in double figures for the Tar Heels (3-0), who shot 60 percent in the first half to take a 52-26 lead on Luke Maye’s 3-pointer just before the buzzer.
Stanford (2-1) got no closer than 15 points after halftime.
It was a good sign for Williams, a senior starting guard whose 0-for-10 shooting start through two games included missing all eight of his 3-point tries. But he scored on a layup less than 90 seconds in Monday, then followed with 3 a few minutes later to finally break through.
KZ Okpala scored 16 points to lead the Cardinal.
Stanford: The Cardinal won at UNC Wilmington on Friday night, part of an opening-month schedule that has them crisscrossing time zones with stops in the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis and at No. 2 Kansas on Dec. 1. Coach Jerod Haase, a former Kansas player and UNC assistant under Tar Heels coach Roy Williams, acknowledged Friday the slate is “pretty insane” but will prepare his players for handling road games. Still, this was a reminder of how difficult that can be, with the Cardinal starting 1 for 12 in a first half that quickly got away from them.
UNC: The Tar Heels opened the season with wins at Wofford and Elon, marking the first time the program had opened with two road games since 1986-87. One avenged a stunning December home loss from last year, while the other ended up being North Carolina’s best scoring output since November 2008. That bumped the Tar Heels up a spot in Monday’s latest AP Top 25 poll, then they built a big lead against a team picked to finish ninth in the Pac-12 before coasting to the finish.