Berry scores 29 points as No. 9 UNC beats Stanford 96-72
Joel Berry II had no intentions of repeating his poor shooting performance from the last game.
He showed up at Maples Pavilion more than a half-hour before his teammates for Monday's shootaround, putting up some 200 extra shots from all over the floor — and it worked wonderfully.
Berry scored 29 points, Kenny Williams posted career highs with 20 points and six 3-pointers, and No. 9 North Carolina beat Stanford 96-72 on Monday night in a matchup of Roy Williams against his former player-turned coach, Jerod Haase.
"I just wanted to bounce back from not shooting as well last game," said Berry, who shot 1 for 11 last week against Bucknell. "That's why when I hit the shots I was just smiling just because I expected to hit those shots."
Luke Maye added 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the defending champion Tar Heels (3-0), who improved to 11-0 against the Cardinal.
Reid Travis scored 21 points to lead Stanford (3-2), while Isaac White added 20.
Second-year Cardinal coach Haase played for 15th-year UNC coach Williams at Kansas and also coached under him at North Carolina from 2003-2012. They were all smiles together in recent days leading up to the sold-out, nationally televised game and reunion at Maples Pavilion.
"It was a lot of personal things today. This was an emotional day for me, this morning talking about Jerod," Roy Williams said. "It was emotional when I got up on the bench and started down here and then I saw Jerod. I don't think I looked at him a single time during the game."
Berry shot 10 for 19 with five 3-pointers and Williams went 7 of 11 and 6 for 8 on 3s. Williams made North Carolina's first five field goals on seven shots as the rest of the team missed its initial six attempts until Brandon Huffman's dunk at the 12:54 mark of the first half.
After falling behind 11-6, the Tar Heels answered with a 24-4 run to take control and led 50-36 at halftime.
Stanford was picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 and held its first four opponents to an average of 67 points while scoring 75.3. The Tar Heels topped 90 points for the second time in three games.
"Once the game starts I do think I kind of lose myself in the game and Coach Williams probably does, too," Haase said. "Having Carolina in the building is a special deal."
Stanford is short-handed as Dorian Pickens and Marcus Sheffield nurse foot injuries, putting three freshmen in the starting lineup.
Berry and Williams shouldered the load after the North Carolina bench contributed 26 points in a 93-81 victory against Bucknell last Wednesday.
MISSED FREE THROWS
Stanford's struggles at the free-throw line contributed to the Cardinal losing this one.
His team down 55-44, Travis missed two free throws with 16:09 remaining in the game, Theo Pinson immediately hit a jumper on the other end, and Stanford wound up 17 for 28 (60.7 percent) from the line.
"It's disappointing when we've got a run like that," Travis said.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels hadn't visited Stanford since Dec. 3, 1983, earning an 88-75 victory in the championship game of the Stanford Invitational despite Michael Jordan fouling out in just eight minutes and scoring four points in Dean Smith's 500th win. ... UNC improved to 2-0 in games vs. Stanford at Maples Pavilion.
Stanford: The Cardinal faced their first ranked opponent after going 0-8 in such games last season. No. 3 Kansas also is on the schedule for a Dec. 21 game at Sacramento's second-year Golden 1 Center. Haase dropped to 2-17 against ranked opponents as a coach. He is one of only three to play for Williams and later coach against him. Williams is now 3-1 coaching against Haase — previously at UAB — while also having coached against former players Wes Miller and Rex Walters. ... This marked the first men's basketball sellout at 7,233-seat Maples since Oregon's visit on March 1, 2015.
North Carolina: Plays Thursday against Terry Porter's Portland team at the PK80 Invitational for Phil Knight's 80th birthday in Portland.
Stanford: The Cardinal face another tough task in No. 7 Florida at the PK80 event Thursday.
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