Caleb Love scored 22 points and Brady Manek added 20 helping Hubert Davis score a victory in his first game as head coach with the No. 19 Tar Heels topping Loyola (Md.) 83-67 on Tuesday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Dawson Garcia, a transfer from Marquette, had 12 points and nine rebounds and Kerwin Walton supplied 11 points for North Carolina, which shot 52.7 percent from the field and was charged with 12 turnovers.
Davis, a former North Carolina player and assistant coach, replaced retired Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams in April. Williams watched from a front-row seat.
Davis is the fourth ex-Tar Heels player to become coach at his alma mater. He was an ESPN broadcaster before spending seven seasons on Williams’ staff.
Jaylin Andrews led Loyola with 17 points, while Cam Spencer had 15 points, Kenneth Jones posted 10 of his 11 in the first half and Ilic Veljko added 10 points.
Manek, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma, made 9-for-15 shots from the field. Walton made three of North Carolina’s eight 3-point baskets.
North Carolina’s lead hoovered around the 15-point mark for most of the second half. Then R.J. Davis and Garcia hit 3-pointers and it was 72-51 with less than eight minutes remaining.
North Carolina scored the game’s first nine points, with Manek’s 3-pointer opening the scoring. The Tar Heels went up by as many as 17 before settling for a 45-31 halftime advantage.
North Carolina held a 10-1 edge in made free throws.
North Carolina has won 17 consecutive season openers, improving to 100-12 all-time in season debuts.
The Tar Heels also won the only previous meeting between the teams, capturing a 1947 win in Baltimore.
Loyola played a Patriot League-only schedule last season. The Greyhounds reached the championship game of the league tournament, falling to Colgate.
–Field Level Media