Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 1/7/12
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Harrison Barnes scored 25 points and No. 3 North Carolina opened Atlantic Coast Conference play by pulling away to beat Boston College 83-60 on Saturday for its eighth straight win. Tyler Zeller added 20 points for the Tar Heels (14-2, 1-0). The preseason league favorites shot 47 percent, took control with a big first-half run and used an even bigger spurt late to claim its 27th straight win at the Smith Center. Matt Humphrey scored 14 points and Ryan Anderson added 13 for BC (5-10, 0-1), which started five freshmen and had 20 turnovers in losing its third straight. The Eagles briefly made things interesting in the second half, cutting a 21-point deficit to nine on Patrick Heckmann's 3-pointer with 9:18 left. Barnes answered two possessions later with a slashing drive that started the 22-8 run that pushed the lead back into the 20s. Barnes had nine points and Zeller added eight during that late surge, while the Eagles managed only 10 points after Heckmann's 3. John Henson added 14 points, Kendall Marshall had 11 assists and Barnes reached 20 points for the third time in four games for North Carolina, which surely remembered how uneasy the Eagles made things in their last visit to the Smith Center -- especially as they threatened for a while to do it again. BC slowed things down last February and came within a rimmed-out 3-pointer at the buzzer of a memorable upset. Instead, North Carolina escaped with a 48-46 victory in its lowest-scoring performance at the 26-year-old arena. The Tar Heels had nearly that many points at halftime of this one, racing to a 40-27 lead at the break. Barnes scored 12 in the first 20 minutes, and after North Carolina let BC hang around for a little while, it grabbed control by cranking up the defense -- and letting the young Eagles make plenty of mistakes. After Boston College hit six of its first 11 shots, the Tar Heels forced BC into nine consecutive empty possessions as part of the 18-5 run that put them in command -- for a while, anyway. BC turned it over 11 times in the half, and the defining play came on a sequence that could have been miscue No. 12. Heckmann let fly with the shot clock about to expire, Henson grabbed it out of the air and passed ahead to Marshall -- who found Barnes for an authoritative dunk that pushed the lead to double figures.
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