CHAPEL HILL, NC (AP) — RJ Davis scored 21 points, Armando Bacot had 19 points and 23 rebounds and No. 1 North Carolina defeated James Madison 80-64 on Sunday to improve to 4-0.
Pete Nance added 11 points and Leaky Black had 12 rebounds as the Tar Heels concluded a four-game homestand.
Takal Molson scored 19 points in James Madison’s first game against a top-ranked team in nearly 32 years. Mezie Offurum had 12 points, Julien Wooden added 11 and Vado Morse finished with 10 for the Dukes (4-1).
North Carolina built a 21-point first-half lead to take control early before holding a 45-26 advantage at halftime.
The Dukes, who averaged 105.1 points in four romps, didn’t reach the 50-point mark until less than 7 1/2 minutes remained in the game.
North Carolina’s lead was cut to 49-40 shortly after the Dukes put together a 12-2 run to begin the second half.
That was a contrast to the opening of the game. James Madison missed his first eight 2-point shots. Before a launch from inside the arc fell, the Dukes trailed 30-15 and more than 12 minutes had passed. They shot 29.4% overall in the first half.
Bacot had a first-half double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
James Madison: The Dukes didn’t handle the first half well in their first game against a Power Five conference team. They won their previous games by margins of at least 35 points. They relied heavily on perimeter offense, perhaps in part because some good looks from closer range didn’t fall in the opening half.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels appeared much more engaged in this game, and they certainly were more efficient. They attacked in the paint right away and that set a tone.
Puff Johnson, a junior swingman who was North Carolina’s first substitution less than four minutes into the game, made his season debut after sitting out with a sore knee. … This was the first meeting between the teams since the 1989 Maui Invitational, when North Carolina won 80-79 with the help of current Tar Heels coach Hubert Davis, who then was a sophomore. … North Carolina improved to 4-0 all-time in the series, with the other two meetings in NCAA Tournament play.
James Madison: Friday vs. Coastal Georgia at Savannah, Georgia.
North Carolina: Thursday vs. Portland in the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Oregon.
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