Tar Heels stomp on Minutemen
By Mark Blaudschun, The Boston Globe Staff, 12/21/96

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Same story, different night. So it went again for the University of Massachusetts last night at the Meadowlands. Bad start, signs of life in the second half and one more loss for a team that refused to lose last season but now can't find a win hidden anywhere.

The latest L was delivered by North Carolina in the Jimmy V Classic as the 12th-ranked Tar Heels rolled over the Minutemen, 83-69.

And if you're keeping count in this not-so-merry season, Bruiser Ball is now 3-6, with another game on tap at North Carolina-Wilmington tomorrow.

``It seems we have no luck at all,'' said guard Carmelo Travieso, who played despite constant back spasms. ``It's not the way we used to do it. We've got to find answers.''

Get in line. No one is more confused than first-year coach Bruiser Flint, who has absorbed two seasons' worth of losses in his first month.

``It's not going to get any easier,'' he sighed after Carolina (8-1) built a 44-29 halftime lead, then essentially coasted through the second half, withstanding a brief UMass power surge in the final minutes. ``The conference is tough and we still have some difficult teams like UConn, BC and Maryland left.''

North Carolina, which has won eight straight since an opening loss to Arizona, was tough enough. The Tar Heels went over and around the Minutemen as they quickly built a double-digit lead in the first 10 minutes.

Most of that damage was done by center Serge Zwikker, who collected 10 of his 17 points in the first half and scored almost at will underneath, as did forward Antawn Jamison (game-high 21 points).

The only thing the Minutemen did well was rebound, which they generally do. ``We're delighted to have won this game while being outrebounded,'' said Tar Heel coach Dean Smith.

As has been the case for most of the past three weeks, the Minutemen began the game shorthanded.

Guard Edgar Padilla gave his sore ankle a try and lasted 14 seconds before he was forced to come out. ``I asked him if he wanted to try it and he said yeah,'' said Flint. ``But he couldn't do it.'

Also hurting, to lesser degrees, were Travieso and Tyrone Weeks (ankle).

``We've just got to what we have to do to win games,'' said Weeks, who didn't offer any suggestions on what that might be.

Flint feels the Minutemen's main problem is in the first 10 minutes. ``We were tentative,'' he said. ``I told them to step in and penetrate.''

The only Minuteman who did that with any regularity was guard Charlton Clarke, who had a career game with 20 points.

Clarke seemed almost frenzied in his play, trying to do all things all the time.

For an instant, it seemed to work as the Minutemen cut the North Carolina lead to 10 with slightly more than six minutes left.

A year ago, the Minutemen might have parlayed that into a bigger run which would have gotten them back in the game.

But there was none of that last night, just as there has been very little of that this season.

Carolina came back with a couple of baskets, made some free throws and simply put the Minutemen away.

``We're playing with bascially five freshmen out there,'' said Flint, who refuses to use that or the injuries as an excuse. ``But that's who we've got. We've got to play the game with the players we've got.''

The players UMass has right now are not healthy enough or good enough to compete against Top 20 teams.

The games will get a little easier in the next several weeks, but not by much, which means that Bruiser Ball is likely to get bruised more before things turn around.


North Carolina Tar Heels (#12) 83
Massachusetts Minutemen 69
The Jimmy V. Classic
at the Meadowlands, E. Rutherford NJ

NORTH CAROLINA (83)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Jamison         32  8-14   5-5   2-5  1  4   21
Okulaja         34   3-7   3-5   3-9  2  1    9
Zwikker         31  8-14   1-2   2-7  1  4   17
Carter          28   2-5   6-7   2-3  6  4   10
Williams        31   4-8   2-2   0-3  0  2   12
Ndiaye           9   1-1   0-0   1-1  0  2    2
Cota            26   0-4 10-14   0-3  7  0   10
Sullivan         1   0-1   0-0   1-1  0  0    0
Newby            1   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Tyndall          1   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Mcnairy          1   0-0   0-2   2-3  0  1    0
Frederick        1   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Evtimov          4   1-1   0-1   0-0  0  1    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 27-57 27-38 13-36 17 19   83
_______________________________________________
Percentages: FG-.474, FT-.711. 3-Point Goals:
2-6, .333 (Okulaja 0-3, Williams 2-3). Team
rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 11 (Zwikker 5,
Jamison 3, Carter 3). Turnovers: 14 (Williams 4,
Cota 3, Zwikker 3, Okulaja 2, Carter, Jamison).
Steals: 8 (Okulaja 2, Zwikker 2, Carter, Cota,
Jamison, Williams).


MASSACHUSETTS (69)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Ketner          13   2-4   0-0   1-1  0  1    4
Babul           16   1-3   4-6   2-4  1  4    6
Basit           17   1-3   3-6   2-3  0  5    5
Clarke          40  8-17   3-4   0-2  3  2   20
Smith           17   0-1   0-0   1-3  0  3    0
Kirkland        13   0-2   1-2   2-3  0  0    1
Travieso        33  4-21   0-0   2-4  0  3   11
Weeks           30  5-15   1-1  5-10  3  4   11
Norville        20   5-6   1-3   3-6  2  4   11
Padilla          1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 26-72 13-22 18-36  9 26   69
_______________________________________________
Percentages: FG-.361, FT-.591. 3-Point Goals:
4-17, .235 (Clarke 1-3, Travieso 3-14). Team
rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 4 (Basit, Ketner,
Travieso, Norville). Turnovers: 17 (Babul 4,
Smith 4, Clarke 3, Basit 2, Kirkland, Travieso,
Weeks). Steals: 10 (Clarke 3, Weeks 2, Babul,
Basit, Kirkland, Norville, Smith).

__________________________________
North Carolina     44   39  -   83
Massachusetts      29   40  -   69
__________________________________
Technical fouls: Massachusetts 1 (Travieso).  A:
13,812. Officials: Larry Rose, Duke Edsall, Jerry
Donaghy.

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