Reyshawn Terry, whose 25 points last year led all scorers in a win over Kentucky, also scored 16 points and capped the Tar Heels' decisive run with a pair of 3-pointers. "I felt like early on, I got in the rhythm going, got some defensive stops, got some assists and it just opened up a lot of things and I got in the flow," Terry said.
Junior guard Joe Crawford scored 16 points and led the Cats in rebounding with eight, but also committed seven of Kentucky's season high 22 turnovers. North Carolina (6-1) never trailed and won its third straight game over Kentucky after losing the four previous contests.
The Wildcats kept the game close and trailed just 31-24 at the end of the first half. Coach Roy Williams pulled his five starters with 17:16 remaining, frustrated that his team allowed Kentucky to make its first three shots in the second half, pull to within 36-33 and outhustle the Tar Heels.
"The basketball was rolling on the floor and we're tiptoeing through the freaking tulips reaching over to get the ball," Williams said. "It is so stupid. We're going to dive after the ball. We had four guys daintily trying to get the ball. If it's on the floor it says North Carolina basketball and if you're not going to get it, I'll get somebody else in who will."
The move worked. North Carolina went on an 11-2 run that put the Heels up 47-35. The Wildcats would get no closer than nine for the remainder of the game.
Bobby Perry added 12 for the Wildcats (4-3), who outrebounded North Carolina 42-36 but lost their third consecutive game against a ranked team this season.
Coach Tubby Smith worked hard to have his team control the tempo of the game and for a while, the strategy worked. Morris created the lion's share of Kentucky's offense in the first half. He was 5-of-5 shooting with 11 points during the opening 20 minutes. The remainder of the team combined for just 6-for-23 and went 0-for-9 from 3-point range – uncharacteristically cold for Kentucky.
"Obviously, they let me catch the ball in the post," Morris said. "Anytime I feel like I catch the ball with somebody behind me, I have the potential to score. I was just making shots today."
Tyler Hansbrough, struggled against Morris all day. The sophomore preseason All-American has failed to reach double figures only three times in his career, and two of those games have come against Kentucky.