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February 28, 2013North Carolina was able to use hot shooting in the first half and consistent scoring from the starters to control most of the game against Clemson, as the Tar Heel defeated the Tigers 68-59 Thursday night.
UNC has now won 20 games this year, in what is an important factor when the committee decides who will be in the tournament for March Madness.
Dexter Strickland led all scorers for the Tar Heels, as he poured in 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting from the field.
All the starters for North Carolina were able to score in double digits tonight, as James Michael McAdoo had 11 points, Reggie Bullock had 12 points, P.J. Hairston had 11 points, and Marcus Paige finished with 10 points.
North Carolina was able to gain a lead early in the game with some hot shooting from behind the arc and finished 8 of 22 from behind the arc (36.4 percent).
Even though most of the Tar Heels shots came from outside the paint in the first half, North Carolina was still able to shoot over 40 percent throughout the game, allowing the Tar Heels to lead 38-24 at halftime.
Clemson struggled all night offensively, something that the Tigers have had trouble all year long. The Tigers allowed the Tar Heels to build a lead as big as 17 points in the second half, as Clemson shot 39.7 percent from the floor.
Clemson was able to cut it down to 10 points at multiple times but were never able to get over the hump to later in the game, where it was too little too late.
Devin Booker led the Tigers and all scorers in the game with 25 points, after he had a slow start to the game, picking up two fouls early in the first half.
Clemson certainly did miss the presence of K.J. McDaniels, as he was scratched late from the game with an injury.
Clemson was able to cut it to 66-59 with one minute to go in the game, but North Carolina was able to hit a few free throws to seal the deal.
UNC finished the game with 19 assists on 26 made baskets, but were once again out rebounded in the game (38-27), especially on the offensive end.
With this win tonight, Roy Williams has won 20 or more game for the 23rd time in the last 25 seasons, while giving Williams his eighth double digit win season in ACC play since coming to North Carolina.
North Carolina will look to continue their winning streak when the Tar Heels welcome Florida State to the Dean Dome on Sunday.
The Tar Heels were able to defeat the Seminoles down in Tallahassee, so there will be revenge on their mind coming into the game.