CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - For the third time this season, the Western Carolina men's basketball team faced a top-15 ranked team in the form of No. 11/10 North Carolina. WCU took an early 5-0 lead before a 33-3 run by the Tar Heels blew the game open the first half. UNC would go on to earn the victory 104-61. The Catamounts knocked down 12 3-pointers in the contest but it was not enough to keep pace with the Tar Heels who had 16 which tied for second-most in UNC program history for a single game.
Senior Deriece Parks led the Catamounts with 13 points including three 3-pointers. He also picked up team-highs in assists with seven and steals with three. Junior Marc Gosselin added 10 points while senior Haboubacar Mutombo and Onno Steger each added seven.
The loss drops WCU's record to 3-7 on the season while the Tar Heels improved to 9-1.
UNC placed six scorers in double-figures led by Jalek Felton who had 15. Luke Maye added a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Tar Heels dominated the boards as they collected 53 boards compared to WCU's 25 but the Catamounts won the turnover battle 17-15.
WCU struggled offensively against the athletic Tar Heels and finished with a 33.8 shooting percentage including 34.3 percent from 3-point range. The Tar Heels on the other hand struggled to miss from 3-point range where they finished 16-of-22 for 72.7 percent. Overall from the field, UNC connected on 56.9 percent of its shots.
The Catamounts will have just one day of rest before taking on Southern Wesleyan Friday night at 7 pm inside the Ramsey Center. The game is dubbed Star Wars night with one lucky fan earning four tickets to the opening night of Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the Cherokee Phoenix Theater.