Davis, Bacot carry No. 1 UNC past James Madison

The Tar Heels improved to 4-0 all time against the Dukes

UNC guard RJ Davis drives to the hoop against James Madison forward Alonzo Sule during the Tar Heels' win Sunday in Chapel Hill. (Chris Seward / AP Photo)

CHAPEL HILL — RJ Davis scored 21 points, Armando Bacot had 19 points and 23 rebounds and No. 1 North Carolina defeated James Madison 80-64 on Sunday to improve to 4-0.

Pete Nance added 11 points and Leaky Black had 12 rebounds as the Tar Heels concluded a four-game homestand.

Takal Molson scored 19 points in James Madison’s first game against a top-ranked team in nearly 32 years. Mezie Offurum had 12 points, Julien Wooden added 11 and Vado Morse finished with 10 for the Dukes (4-1).

The Tar Heels built a 21-point first-half lead to take control early before holding a 45-26 advantage at halftime.

The Dukes, who averaged 105.1 points in four romps, didn’t reach the 50-point mark until less than 7 1/2 minutes remained in the game.

UNC’s lead was cut to 49-40 shortly after the Dukes put together a 12-2 run to begin the second half.

That was a contrast to the opening of the game. James Madison missed its first eight 2-point shots. Before a launch from inside the arc fell, the Dukes trailed 30-15 and more than 12 minutes had passed. They shot 29.4% overall in the first half.

Bacot had a first-half double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Puff Johnson, a junior swingman who was North Carolina’s first substitution less than four minutes into the game, made his season debut after sitting out with a sore knee. It was the first meeting between the teams since the 1989 Maui Invitational, when UNC won 80-79 with the help of current Tar Heels coach Hubert Davis, who then was a sophomore. The Tar Heels improved to 4-0 all-time in the series, with the other two meetings in NCAA Tournament play.

UNC plays Portland on Thursday in the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Oregon.