CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Nate Britt matched his career high with 17 points and No. 1 North Carolina gradually pulled away in the second half to beat Fairfield 92-65 on Sunday.
Joel Berry II added 15 points for the Tar Heels (2-0), who won their 14th consecutive home opener. But UNC followed its 24-point win over Temple in Friday’s opener with an unimpressive showing full of missed free throws and leaky defense.
The Tar Heels struggled to put away a team that went 7-24 last season, leading 40-32 at halftime. They didn’t put the game away until the final 10 minutes against the Stags (0-2), who hit 10 3-pointers that kept them hanging around longer than expected.
The Tar Heels are playing without preseason Atlantic Coast Conference co-player of the year Marcus Paige for the first few weeks of the season due to a broken right hand.
Marcus Gilbert scored 25 points for Fairfield.
The game was part of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Classic, though it wasn’t part of the event’s elimination rounds.
NO. 17 WISCONSIN 92, SIENA 65
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Bronson Koenig scored 23 points and Vitto Brown added a career-high 16 for No. 17 Wisconsin.
Nigel Hayes, limited to 5 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, added 14 points for the Badgers (1-1).
Nico Clareth led Siena (0-2) with 21 points, while Marquis Wright added 17.
Zak Showalter’s putback dunk of a missed 3-pointer just before the first-half buzzer put the Badgers up 43-28.
The Badgers looked like a different team offensively after hitting less than 36 percent of their shots from the field and 64 percent from the free throw line and allowing Western Illinois to shoot 54 percent from the field in Friday night’s loss. With Koenig hitting 8 of 14 and Brown 5 of 10, the Badgers shot better than 58 percent from the field on Sunday and held the Saints to 39 percent.
NO. 23 PURDUE 107, VERMONT 79
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Dakota Mathias scored 17 points and Isaac Haas added 16 in Purdue’s victory in a game in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic.
Caleb Swanigan added 14 points and 13 rebounds, Vince Edwards scored 14 points, Rapheal Davis had 12 and Kendall Stephens scored 11 for Purdue (2-0).
Stephens and Haas scored 11 points each in a 60-point first half. Purdue’s 18 3-pointers set a school record, besting the 16 the Boilermakers made on Feb. 7, 1998, in a Big Ten victory at Ohio State.
Edwards made the record-breaking 3-pointer from the left wing with 8:27 remaining, giving Purdue a 91-64 lead.
The Boilermakers, who defeated North Carolina A&T 81-40 in their Friday night opener, made 10 of 19 3-point attempts in the first half against Vermont, with six players making at least one.
Ernie Duncan led Vermont (0-2) with 18 points, and Trae Bell-Haynes added 17.