CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP)—Deon Thompson had 23 points and eight rebounds to help No. 6 North Carolina beat Belmont Abbey 107-59 on Friday night in its only exhibition game.
Tyler Zeller scored 17 points for the defending national champions, while Ed Davis added 13 points, six rebounds and four blocks. The Tar Heels shot 57 percent and took a 56-36 advantage on the boards against the undersized instate Division II program.
North Carolina used a 10-0 spurt for a double-digit lead 6 minutes in, then put it out of reach with a 13-0 run that made it 55-29 shortly before halftime. North Carolina led by as many as 52 points.
The Tar Heels open the regular season Monday against Florida International.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP)—Manny Harris scored 25 points and Zack Novak had 15 to lead No. 15 Michigan to a 73-54 victory over Wayne State on Friday night in an exhibition game.
The visiting Warriors took an 11-9 lead with just under 12:30 remaining in the first half. Michigan went on a 16-4 run and never looked back.
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP)—Former Southern Cal recruit Noel Johnson scored 19 points to lead No. 24 Clemson to a 99-51 exhibition victory over Francis Marion on Friday night.
Johnson, a smooth 6-foot-5 freshman, had signed with the Trojans and then-coach Tim Floyd. However, he received his release after allegations of improper recruiting of former USC star O.J. Mayo and joined the Tigers.
Johnson went 7 of 10 from the field, including three 3-pointers in 21 minutes.
Sophomore Tanner Smith had 18 points for Clemson, which opens the season next Friday against Presbyterian.
Kaylan Anderson led Division II Francis Marion with 20 points.
Clemson’s Trevor Booker had nine points, six rebounds and two blocks in 22 minutes.
RICHMOND, Va. – The most frequent question that Head Coach Shaka Smart received leading up to the 2009-10 season was about how his Virginia Commonwealth University basketball team was going to replace Eric Maynor.
The class of 2011 showed part of that plan with juniors Larry Sanders (Fort Pierce, Fla.) (right), Brandon Rozzell (Richmond, Va.) and Joey Rodriguez (Oviedo, Fla.) combining for 47 points in VCU’s 85-55 exhibition victory over intra-city rival, Virginia Union, on Thursday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.
“I was very pleased with our guys’ overall effort today,” Smart commented. “We got positive contributions from everyone on our team, which is something you are always looking for as a coaching staff.”
The havoc-wreaking style of play that Smart wanted to install showed its face early with the Black & Gold forcing five turnovers in the first seven minutes of play to race out to a 19-9 advantage.
“We used a few good presses at different times throughout the night,” Smart added. “It wore them down to a certain extent. One of our goals all year is to force our opponents into at least 20 turnovers and we were able to accomplish that tonight, which is good.”
Sanders would flex his muscles the rest of the first half with 14 points and 11 rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play, helping the Rams take a 46-27 edge into the intermission.