Dec. 10, 2011
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Casper Ware scored a career-high 29 points but it wasn't quite enough as No. 4 North Carolina handed Long Beach State an 84-78 loss in front of 20,426 at the Smith Center on Saturday night.
Ware connected on 12-of-24 shots, including 4-of-9 from 3-point range, and handed out five assists. Larry Anderson added 17 points, five rebounds and three assists, while T.J. Robinson finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, his 43rd career double-double.
John Henson led UNC with 24 points and 10 boards, while Harris Barnes added 20 points and Tyler Zeller chipped in 17.
"It's been a long week for the team, between traveling to Kansas, traveling here, and trying to get two days of school in, but I thought they fought really hard," LBSU head coach Dan Monson said. "We aren't here for moral victories. We feel like we can play in these games and sometimes you just have to say that you got beat, and I don't think we lost to them. I think they had to beat us and for that I think that's acceptable. A couple of games this year I think we lost and that's unacceptable. The team really tried to do what we asked for them to do and we just came up short."
Long Beach State wasn't beat until the final buzzer. The 49ers (4-5) battled back from an 11-point second half deficit and had a chance to cut the lead to three in the final 30 seconds, but 3-pointers by Anderson and Mike Caffey (7 points) rimmed out.
North Carolina (8-2) rallied from a second-half deficit with a 22-8 run over a seven minute stretch to take its biggest lead, 72-61, of the game with 8:41 to play. The run helped UNC overcome a 49er lead that LBSU built late in the first half.
The 49ers (4-5) used a 9-0 run in the final 1:50 of the half to build a five-point halftime lead after trailing by as many as eight midway through the half.
Anderson spearheaded the 49er run scoring all seven of his first-half points during the stretch. The Long Beach native canned back-to-back threes in a 24 second span before adding a free throw.
It was Ware who allowed LBSU to hang around early, while UNC was making 9 of its first 12 shots. Ware scored 21 first-half points, 16 coming in the first 8:47. Ware hit 4-of-6 threes in the half, while connecting on 8-of-13 shots. He also had two assists and three rebounds.
Robinson added eight points and six boards for the 49ers, while Henson had 14 points to lead the Tar Heels on 7-of-9 shooting.
The 49ers connected on 51.4 percent (18-of-35) shots in the half, while canning 53.8 percent (7-of-13) of their threes. After UNC's quick start, the Tar Heels finished the half making 48.5 percent (16-of-33) of their field goals, while hitting just 2-of-10 threes.
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