No. 4 North Carolina rolls over Oklahoma State in Maui
LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — Joel Berry III scored 24 points, Justin Jackson added 22 and No. 4 North Carolina steamrolled its way into the Maui Invitational championship game Tuesday night with a 107-75 victory over Oklahoma State.
North Carolina (6-0) dominated the Cowboys from the start, building a 12-point lead in the opening 4 1/2 minutes. The Tar Heels kept their foot down, shooting 57 percent and going 8 of 17 from 3-point range while smothering Oklahoma State at the other end.
Next up is No. 16 Wisconsin in Wednesday's championship game for a chance at their fourth Maui Invitational title. North Carolina won two national titles and reached the Final Four after its previous three Maui championships.
Oklahoma State (4-1) managed to harass its first four opponents into numerous mistakes with its pressure defense, but was picked apart by the long, athletic Tar Heels.
Jawun Evans had 30 points on 13-of-25 shooting, but got little help from his teammates on the offensive end. The Cowboys shot 36 percent and were 6 of 22 from 3-point range.
North Carolina needed a little warmup time against Chaminade in the opening round before dominating the Silverswords inside for a 104-61 win.
The Tar Heels jumped on the Cowboys from the opening tip, scoring inside and out. North Carolina hit seven of its first 13 shots to open with a 16-4 run and kept pouring `em in.
The Tar Heels hit 18 of 32 shots, going 4 of 7 on 3s, and led 51-38 at halftime.
Oklahoma State's first-half offense was all Evans. He had 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting while the rest of the Cowboys were 4 of 21.
North Carolina hit a couple of quick baskets to open the second half, prompting Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood to call timeout.
It did little good.
The Tar Heels continued to pour it on, stretching the lead to 67-42 in the opening 4 minutes and cruising from there.
The Cowboys had little impact on North Carolina with their pressure defense and need to find someone besides Evans to carry some of the scoring load.
The Tar Heels showed just how good they can be with a dominating performance at both ends to set up what should be a fantastic final in Maui.
Oklahoma State will face Georgetown in the third-place game on Wednesday.
North Carolina faces No. 16 Wisconsin in Wednesday's title game.