Wyoming Defeated In NIT Second Round

March 24, 2003

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AP Sports Writer

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina is closing in on yet another 20-winseason.

Melvin Scott had a career-high 20 points and Raymond Felton added 15 pointsand 14 assists as the Tar Heels beat Wyoming 90-74 Monday night to advance tothe third round of the NIT.

North Carolina (19-15) will face Georgetown at home Wednesday night with achance to advance to New York City and win 20 games for the 32nd time in thelast 33 years.

Rashad McCants added 20 points as North Carolina, a program-worst 8-20 lastyear, hit 12-of-26 from 3-point range and forced 19 turnovers.

Felton's assist total broke the freshman school record of 13 set by JeffLebo in 1985 against Manhattan, while Scott's previous high point total was 19in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament.

Donta Richardson led Wyoming with 20 points.

It was a wild scene before and during the game. Thousands of students linedup more than three hours before tipoff to get prime seats inside the SmithCenter, which drew a raucous sellout crowd of 20,235.

And in typical North Carolina fashion this season, the Tar Heels made theirfaithful sweat it out after going up by 22 with 16:36 left.

The Cowboys (21-11) used an 18-0 run over a six-minute span to work theirway back into it, cutting the score to 61-58 with plenty of time left.

But Jawad Williams hit a 3-pointer, Felton had a steal and fastbreak layupand then fed David Noel for a dunk in span of a minute as the Tar Heels wentback up by double digits.

Wyoming pulled within eight with 7:48 left before Scott hit a pair of3-pointers and a layup in a span of 38 seconds to help seal it.

The Tar Heels were hot out of the gate, hitting nine of their first 14 shotsto go up 24-14.

A 14-0 run late in the first half then broke the game open as McCants scoredon a three-point play and layup, Felton and Williams hit 3-pointers and WillJohnson added four points for a 23-point cushion.

The Tar Heels shot 55 percent in the first half, going 7-for-12 beyond thearc as the Cowboys turned it over nine times and had five shots blocked by aswarming North Carolina defense.