Aloha!: Tar Heels win title in Maui
Maui, HI (Sports Network) - Rashad McCants scored 22 points to lead No. 11 North Carolina to a convincing 106-92 win over Iowa in the championship of the Maui Invitational at Lahaina Civic Center.
Jawad Williams had 18 points and Sean May added 16 points and six rebounds for the Tar Heels (3-1), who won this event for a second time in school history. North Carolina has now won three straight following a stunning season-opening loss at Santa Clara.
Raymond Felton, who was named the tournament MVP, chipped in 13 points and handed out nine assists in the win.
Adam Haluska scored 19 points and Jeff Horner netted 18 points and grabbed nine boards for the Hawkeyes (3-1), who were looking for their second Maui Invitational title. Iowa had a great run in Hawaii, as the school upset nationally-ranked teams Louisville and Texas en route to the championship game.
Pierre Pierce scored 13 points and had six assists in the loss.
North Carolina jumped out to a 9-2 lead capped by McCants' basket with 18:13 left in the first half, but the Hawkeyes quickly climbed within one point on consecutive threes by Pierce.
The Tar Heels built their lead to eight points at 22-14 on David Noel's putback with just over 13 minutes left in the stanza. However, Iowa hung close and Haluska's three-pointer from the left wing with 6:55 left in the half trimmed the deficit to three points.
North Carolina, though, scored 12 straight points to build a double-digit cushion. Melvin Scott keyed the spurt with a pair of three-pointers and the Tar Heels claimed a comfortable 45-29 advantage with just under five minutes remaining.
The Hawkeyes did close within 11 points moments later, but North Carolina ended the half on an 11-3 run to take a commanding 59-40 edge into the locker room.
Felton's monstrous two-handed dunk with 16:37 left in the game extended the advantage to 71-48, but the Hawkeyes would not go away quietly.
Iowa closed within 77-63 on a pair of Haluska free throws with just over 11 minutes left, but the Tar Heels responded with 10 of the next 12 points to widen the gap to 22 points. May capped the surge with a three-point play to make it 87-65 with 9 1/2 minutes left.
The Hawkeyes never made a serious run again and suffered the lopsided loss.IOWA NCAROLINA