- The Washington Times - Monday, November 16, 2009

From combined dispatches

NO. 6 NORTH CAROLINA 88, VALPARAISO 77: Deon Thompson scored 16 of his 20 points after halftime to help the Tar Heels hold off the Crusaders in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Sunday.

Ed Davis added 16 points for the Tar Heels (3-0), who didn’t look sharp yet still earned their third straight double-digit victory to open the season. North Carolina led just 38-31 at halftime but scored on 12 of 13 possessions to build a 24-point lead midway through the second half.

Yet the defending national champions had plenty of trouble putting away the Crusaders (0-2), who got as close as 84-75 on a 3-pointer from Brandon McPherson with 1:47 left.

North Carolina shot 56 percent for the game, but Valparaiso kept pace at 53 percent in the second half - including a 7-for-10 effort from 3-point range.

Brandon Wood scored 30 points and hit six 3s to lead Valparaiso, while McPherson finished with 20 points.

It was a performance that had to frustrate coach Roy Williams, particularly with his team preparing to open a tough stretch of the schedule that could include five games against ranked opponents.

NO. 8 WEST VIRGINIA 83, LOYOLA (MD) 60: Da’Sean Butler scored 26 points, and the host Mountaineers used two second-half runs to pull away to a victory over the Greyhounds in Morgantown.

Darrell Bryant added 15 points, Kevin Jones scored 14 and Casey Mitchell had 13 for West Virginia (1-0), which opened the season with three players out of the lineup. Among them was starting forward Devin Ebanks, who wasn’t on the bench and missed the game for undisclosed reasons.

Shane Walker scored 14 points and Jamal Barney had 11 for Loyola (1-1).

NO. 3 TEXAS 89, UC IRVINE 42: When the freshmen looked nervous, the Longhorns had the luxury of a strong senior class to take control and lead the way.

Damion James had 21 points and 15 rebounds and Dexter Pittman scored 21 to lead the host Longhorns to a season-opening victory over the Anteaters in Austin.

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