Curry nets 46 as Roy Williams looks on

MEBANE, N.C. -- On a night when UNC signee JamesOn Curry was dogged by foul trouble and admittedly nervous at the presence of his future coach Roy Williams, his 46 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals led Eastern Alamance to a thrilling overtime victory Tuesday night.

Curry opened the game on a blistering pace, scoring 15 points in the first quarter as Eastern jumped out to an early lead over traditional 3A power Burlington Williams. The quarter was capped off by consecutive backdoor cuts for dunks, with a third being narrowly averted by a timely foul.

The performance in the opening quarter was even more impressive in light of a stated case of butterflies.

"I was so nervous--that's the coach I'm going to have and he's never seen me play like that, live," Curry said postgame. "That's the college I'm going to go to and I didn't want him to think he was getting some scrub. I just knew my outside shot wasn't falling so I got my teammates involved and they did what they do."

The second quarter wasn't nearly as kind, however, as foul trouble forced him to the bench with four minutes to play in the half. Williams took advantage of Curry's absence and raced to a nine-point lead at the half, and Curry's troubles with the whistle were far from over.

Two quick fouls followed the intermission, and the entire fourth quarter and overtime he played with four fouls, which limited Curry's ability to play aggressive defense.

"It was hard, because I know Coach is a defensive coach and you play defense with your feet," he said. "I just wanted to prove I could play defense without reaching in."

Afterwards, Eastern coach John Moon shouldered some of the blame for the foul trouble.

"My biggest problem is that I just have too much confidence in him," Moon said. "Sometimes when he picks up that third he'll look at me and tell me he's okay and I believe him, because I think he's a great enough player and an experienced enough player to know how to play with three or four fouls."

Curry had scored 33 points at the end of regulation, but the last shot fell to a teammate when the return pass he was expecting with ten seconds left was prevented by a double team. With 13 points in the overtime period, including a series of four buckets and nine points in 94 seconds, the game was over.

UNC coach Roy Williams took a moment to speak with Inside Carolina at halftime, and was content with Curry's play.

"Well, I look at him but I also look at the team, and the team is down. The zone that Burlington Williams went to took him out of it a little bit, and the fouls, but I'm very pleased with him and his play and we're very happy to have him with us," Williams said, while being swarmed by fans seeking autographs or handshakes.

Curry's display in the second half (and his 16-of-18 performance at the line to go with 13-of-24 from the field) certainly buttressed Williams' excitement at what the future holds for Curry in Chapel Hill.

Eastern's next game is December 2 at Western Alamance, and Inside Carolina will be there to bring you more comprehensive coverage.

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