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February 1, 2011

Beantown Beatdown

BOSTON--- Harrison Barnes had another strong game and another career-high for North Carolina. And this time he got some help from fellow freshman Reggie Bullock.

Barnes scored 26 points, reaching a career-high for the second straight game, and Bullock made four 3-pointers in a 2 1/2-minute span to help North Carolina (No. 23 AP) beat Boston College 106-74 on Tuesday night.

"The biggest difference for me in the game was Reggie Bullock off the bench," Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said. "We were down five points and then Reggie hits four 3s. The last game, [he] didn't make a field goal. I talked to him after the game and said, 'You probably won't do that again.'"

Tyler Zeller scored 18 points and Bullock hit four 3s during a 22-4 surge late in the first half when the Tar Heels (16-5, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) turned a five-point deficit into a 13-point lead. Bullock scored 14 points in the first half and finished with 16.

Joe Trapani had a season-high 25 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for Boston College (14-8, 4-4).

Larry Drew II had nine assists for Carolina, which missed its season high in scoring by one point when Williams emptied his bench in the final 2 minutes, up by more than 30. The Tar Heels shot 57 percent from the field.

"They've had trouble against zones; they didn't have trouble with our zones," BC coach Steve Donahue said. "Once they started making shots, it got their confidence up. ... I think they really played one of the best games they've played in a while."

BC led 18-13 when Bullock entered the game with 12:15 left in the first half. He hit a 3 on Carolina's next possession, another to give the Tar Heels the lead and one more to make it 22-18 with 9:52 left. He made another to give Carolina a 29-22 lead and by the time he headed back to the bench the Tar Heels led 31-22.

It was the last time BC would be within single digits.

"It was just a spark off the bench for me," Bullock said. "I wanted to play defense and my shot started falling. It's all clicking for us right now. We know our roles. Coach keeps telling me to keep shooting the ball and I did."

Barnes was the first freshman selected for The Associated Press preseason All-America team since voting began before the 1986-87 season. But he had struggled during the ACC season before scoring 25 against North Carolina State on Saturday.

Bullock shot 0 for 5 in that one. He and Barnes each made 4 of 7 from 3-point range against BC.

"I've said all year long I thought we'd be a good shooting team. We hadn't shot well, but we shot well tonight," Williams said. "Everybody looks better when the ball's going in the basket. If they stink it up the next time, I'll call them freshmen again."

The Tar Heels had been as high as No. 8 in The Associated Press Top 25 before consecutive losses to Vanderbilt and Minnesota helped knock them from the rankings at the end of November. They stayed out for 10 weeks before creeping back in at No. 23 on Monday after winning 11 of their last 13 games, with losses to Georgia Tech and Texas.

BC had beaten Carolina two straight times, including an 85-78 win in Chapel Hill in 2009 when the Tar Heels were the No. 1 team in the country. Carolina went on to win the NCAA championship, and BC went on to lose to Harvard in its next game.

There would be no upset this year.

The Eagles have been struggling -- losing to Harvard for the third straight year and dropping three of their last four games, including an 84-68 loss to Duke on Thursday.

A crowd of 7,883 took in the game during a break in the blizzard that threatened to shut down the city. It saw BC jump to an early lead that it couldn't hold.

After taking control with a 22-4 run in the first, the Tar Heels scored 14 of the first 19 points in the second half -- seven from Barnes, including a 3-pointer that gave them a 63-40 lead with 16 minutes left.

Reggie Jackson, the No. 2 scorer in the ACC with an 18.5-point average, was held scoreless in the first 12 minutes of the game and had four points at the break. He did not score in the second half until making two free throws with 8:33 to play; he finished with six points.

Corey Raji scored 16 points and Biko Paris had 11 for BC.





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