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Tar Heels' Start Still Perfect

November 30, 2002|From Associated Press

North Carolina has emerged as the nation's surprise team in this youthful season.

The Tar Heels, with their heralded freshman class again leading the way, defeated Stanford, 74-57, Friday night in the championship of the Preseason National Invitation Tournament at New York.

The Tar Heels (5-0) are three wins short of matching their victory total from 2001-02, an 8-20 mark that was the worst in school history.

Rashad McCants had 18 points for the Tar Heels and fellow freshman Raymond Felton had 16 points and seven assists.

It is North Carolina's best start since it went 8-0 in 1998-99, a season that also included a Preseason NIT championship over Stanford.

Josh Childress and Julius Barnes each had 17 points for Stanford (4-1).

But Stanford Coach Mike Montgomery tempered the plaudits being thrown the Tar Heels' way.

"We're five games into season, and they haven't gotten to the [Atlantic Coast Conference] yet, but what he has got is really good freshman players," Montgomery said.


No. 7 Florida 83, No. 2 Kansas 73 -- Matt Walsh and Matt Bonner had 22 points each as the Gators (4-1) won the consolation game of the Preseason NIT at New York.

The Jayhawks (2-2) have lost consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 12-17, 2001.


No. 4 Alabama 54, Ohio State 48 -- Antoine Pettway scored 11 points and made the go-ahead three-point basket as the Crimson Tide (4-0) held off the Buckeyes (1-1) in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic at Springfield, Mass.


Villanova 81, No. 9 Michigan State 73 -- Gary Buchanan scored 29 points as the Wildcats (3-1) upset the Spartans (2-1) in the semifinals of the Great Alaska Shootout at Anchorage.



Alana Beard scored 28 points as No. 1 Duke (4-0) defeated Old Dominion, 65-52, at Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands. Okeishia Howard had 16 points for Old Dominion (0-3).... Nicole Ohlde had 28 points and 15 rebounds as No. 2 Kansas State (5-0) rallied for a 72-65 victory over Temple (3-1) in the first round of the Stanford Invitational at Palo Alto.... DeTrina White scored 14 points as No. 3 Louisiana State (4-0) rolled to an 87-50 victory against Washington State (0-3) in the Thanksgiving Classic at Miami.

Gwen Jackson made all 14 of her shots and scored 28 points as No. 4 Tennessee routed Puerto Rico Mayaguez, 136-26, in the first round of the San Juan Shootout at Carolina, Puerto Rico. Mayaguez is 0-4.... No. 5 Connecticut (3-0) toppled Denver, 85-29, in the Rainbow Wahine Classic at Honolulu. The Pioneers are 0-3.... Mary Jo Noon scored 23 points as No. 6 Purdue (4-0) cruised to a 93-74 victory over Texas Christian (2-2) at West Lafayette, Ind.... Azella Perryman had 17 points and a career-high 18 rebounds as No. 7 Stanford (3-0) defeated Princeton, 95-39, in the opening round of the Stanford Invitational at Palo Alto. Princeton fell to 2-2.

Reserve La'Tangela Atkinson had 12 points as No. 11 North Carolina (3-0) shut down DePaul (1-1) in an 82-66 victory in the first round of the Rainbow Wahine Classic at Honolulu.... Lindsay Whalen scored 36 points as No. 14 Minnesota defeated New Orleans, 85-75, in the first round of the Air Force Classic at Air Force Academy, Colo. New Orleans fell to 1-2.... Shameka Christon, Rudy Vaden and Cara Wright scored 13 points apiece to lead No. 17 Arkansas (4-0) to a 78-41 victory over Hampton (1-2) in the Paradise Jam at Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands.... Also in the Paradise Jam, No. 18 Boston College (3-0) defeated Oregon, 64-47, behind Jessalyn Deveny's 25 points. The Ducks are 1-3.

Maria Villarroel scored 30 points as No. 23 Oklahoma (4-1) rolled past Fordham, 90-52, in the opening round of the Rainbow Wahine Classic at Honolulu. Caitlin Chiaramonte had 12 points for Fordham (2-1).... No. 24 UC Santa Barbara (2-1) edged Florida, 73-70, at Goleta. The Gators fell to 3-1.

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