Armando Bacot collected 22 points and 20 rebounds and teammate RJ Davis added 22 points to propel No. 19 North Carolina past visiting Lehigh 90-68 on Sunday afternoon in Chapel Hill, N.C.
It marked the third career game reaching the 20-20 level for Bacot, a 6-foot-11 forward in his fifth season. It was his seventh game with at least 20 rebounds. He sat out the final four minutes after North Carolina established a comfortable margin.
Harrison Ingram gave the Tar Heels (2-0) a boost with 14 points.
Keith Higgins Jr. scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half for Lehigh (0-3). Tyler Whitney-Sidney added 10 points.
North Carolina’s 15-point lead from the first half dipped to 53-50 in the second half before the Tar Heels rattled off the next nine points in what began a 14-2 burst. Lehigh went almost three minutes without scoring after closing the gap.
Ingram posted five straight North Carolina points as the margin grew to 67-52.
North Carolina shot 46.3 percent from the field despite going 5-for-17 on 3-pointers. Bacot shot 8-for-14 from the field and went 6-for-6 on free throws. Davis was good on 3-of-6 attempts on 3-pointers.
Bacot set the North Carolina career record with 487 offensive rebounds, grabbing six Sunday.
The Tar Heels outscored Lehigh 23-3 on free throws. North Carolina also finished with a 52-31 rebounding edge.
North Carolina had its first double-figure lead at 25-15 when Bacot converted on his second three-point play of the game with more than 8 1/2 minutes left in the first half. Lehigh was amid a stretch of more than seven minutes without a field goal.
Davis drained 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to push the Tar Heels’ advantage to 33-18.
Higgins shot 5-for-8 in the first 16 minutes half, while the rest of the Mountain Hawks were a combined 3-for-19.
Lehigh, playing less than two days after losing Friday night at Penn State, shot 36.6 from the field.
–Field Level Media