No. 5 N. Carolina routs No. 6 Seton Hall, 83-54 Tar Heels boost ACC in challenge series

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It was supposed to be a classic early season matchup of two top-10 teams with Final Four potential. North Carolina might eventually go that far, but Seton Hall has a long way to go.

The fifth-ranked Tar Heels ran away from the sixth-ranked Pirates midway through the first half of last night's ACC-Big East Challenge game at Brendan Byrne Arena, and then hid in the second half for a shocking 83-54 romp.


The fifth straight victory this season for North Carolina wasn't as telling as the first defeat for Seton Hall (2-1), which had struggled some against lesser competition in its first two games and was outclassed by the Tar Heels.

"We got beat by a much better basketball team," Seton Hall coach P. J. Carlesimo said after his worst defeat in 10 years at the Big East school and the school's worst since the 1972-73 season. "They are just way too good for us right now."


Said North Carolina coach Dean Smith: "I certainly didn't expect that. It wasn't as bad as the final score indicated."

Yes, it was. The Pirates shot 20 of 61 from the field, missed 10 of 22 free throws and turned the ball over 20 times. Terry Dehere, Seton Hall's senior captain and a preseason All-America candidate, suffered through the worst shooting night of his career, going three of 22.

To make matters worse for Dehere, North Carolina guard Hubert Davis finished with 23 points on nine of 15 shooting. Junior forward George Lynch had 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Tar Heels, and sophomore center Eric Montross added 13 points. Senior center Jerry Walker led Seton Hall with 19 points and eight rebounds.

"I just tried to stay in his [Dehere's] face," said Davis, who had been beaten out by Dehere for a spot on this year's U.S. Pan Am team. "Coach Smith told me not to put it all on myself. George [Lynch] and I said that we'd go out there and try to do it collectively."

Said Dehere: "Davis is a good player, and he had a great game. You have to give him a lot of credit. I got the shots I'm used to getting, but I wasn't able to put them in. It's one of those nights you have to deal with."

The victory, along with Maryland's win earlier in the night over Providence, gave the ACC a 4-2 lead going into the final night of the ACC-Big East Challenge. Tonight, Top-ranked Duke takes on No. 7 St. John's and Georgetown meets Virginia, both in Greensboro, N.C.

The defeat will make some reconsider Seton Hall's place in the rankings, especially the one person who voted the Pirates No. 1 last week. Carlesimo has been saying all along that his young team didn't deserve such a high ranking, and now some of his players might listen as well.

SETON HALL (54) -- Winchester 6-12 0-0 12, Leahy 0-3 1-2 1, Walker 5-8 9-12 19, Caver 3-6 2-2 8, Dehere 3-22 0-0 7, Crist 0-1 0-0 0, Hurley 2-5 0-2 5, Mims 1-2 0-2 2, Wright 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 20-61 12-22 54.


NORTH CAROLINA (83) -- Reese 3-8 0-0 6, Lynch 6-14 1-2 13, Sullivan 3-6 0-0 6, Phelps 6-10 0-0 12, Davis 9-15 3-3 23, Montross 6-7 1-3 13, Rodl 1-2 0-0 2, Cherry 0-1 0-0 0, Burgess 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 2-3 0-0 4, Salvadori 0-1 2-2 2, Smith 1-1 0-0 2, Wenstrom 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-68 7-10 83.

Halftime--North Carolina 37, Seton Hall 26. 3-Point goals--Seton Hall 2-18 (Hurley 1-3, Dehere 1-11, Winchester 0-1, Leahy 0-1, Caver 0-1, Crist 0-1), North Carolina 2-8 (Davis 2-6, Reese 0-1, Cherry 0-1). Fouled out--Montross. Rebounds--Seton Hall 40 (Walker 8), North Carolina 45 (Lynch 14). Assists--Seton Hall 12 (Caver 5), North Carolina 18 (Phelps 5). Total fouls--Seton Hall 12, North Carolina 19. A--15,176.