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COLLEGE BASKETBALL 1996-97

Arizona Tips Off With Big Victory

College basketball: Dickerson, freshman Bibby lead 83-72 decision over No. 7 North Carolina.

November 23, 1996|From Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — No. 19 Arizona, with four players making their first collegiate starts, used a career-high 31 points from junior Michael Dickerson and 22 from touted freshman Michael Bibby to beat No. 7 North Carolina, 83-72, Friday night in the Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic.

Miles Simon, who was supposed to be the Wildcats' only returning starter from last season, was sitting in the stands because of academic problems. He had a good seat to watch his teammates pull away from a 29-29 halftime tie as Dickerson went five for six from three-point range and Bibby, son of USC's coach, scored 16 points.

The loss ended a streak of 13 consecutive season-opening victories for the Tar Heels, who last lost an opener in the 1982 Tipoff Classic when St. John's beat them, 78-74, in overtime.

Friday night's first half was ragged on both ends and Arizona had to consider itself lucky to be tied after shooting 33% and committing six turnovers.

But the Wildcats opened the second half with a 12-2 run, making their first five shots from the field, the last two three-pointers by Bibby and Dickerson. North Carolina, starting an inexperienced backcourt, continued to struggle from the field as Arizona increased the lead to as much as 67-50 on a lane jumper by Dickerson with 6:31 to play.

The closest the Tar Heels got was 69-59 and the Wildcats answered with a layup by Bennett Davison on a nice pass from Bibby and a three-pointer by Dickerson.

Dickerson, whose previous career-high was 26 points against Texas A&M last season, when he was part of the Wildcats' seven-man rotation, finished 12 for 22 from the field, including seven for 10 on three-pointers. Bibby, son of former UCLA star Henry Bibby, was eight for 13 from the field, had five assists and committed only two turnovers.

Vince Carter led the Tar Heels with 20 points. Freshman point guard Ed Cota had 14 points and seven assists and Ademola Okulaja had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Antawn Jamison, an all-Atlantic Coast Conference pick as a freshman last season, scored all 11 of his points in the second half and was four for 12 from the field.

Bibby made four of eight three-pointers as Arizona finished 11 for 21. The Tar Heels were seven for 22.

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