CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Caleb Love scored 22 points and No. 19 North Carolina led the whole way in Hubert Davis’ coaching debut, beating Loyola of Maryland 83-67 on Tuesday night.
Brady Manek, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma, poured in 20 points as one of college basketball’s storied programs launched a new era.
Davis, a former North Carolina player, replaced the retired Roy Williams in April after spending seven seasons on Williams’ staff. Williams watched from a front-row seat near the tunnel where the Tar Heels run onto the court.
Dawson Garcia, a transfer from Marquette, added 12 points and Kerwin Walton scored 11 points for North Carolina, which scored the game’s first nine points.
Jaylin Andrews scored 17 points to lead Loyola. Cam Spencer had 15 points and Kenneth Jones scored 11 for the Greyhounds.
The Tar Heels led 45-31 at halftime, shooting 53.6% from the field.
The lead grew to 72-51 when Davis and Garcia connected on consecutive 3-pointers.
North Carolina is 100-12 in season openers, winning its first game of a season for the 17th consecutive year.
Loyola: The Greyhounds have lost their opener in all four seasons under coach Tavaras Hardy. Last year, the team played a Patriot League-only schedule, so this was the first step out of conference since a Dec. 29, 2019 loss at Virginia Commonwealth.
North Carolina: Davis has said he wanted the Tar Heels to build off good defensive performances and there was a mixture of results on that front. Loyola was held to 43.2% shooting from the field. North Carolina forced only 12 turnovers, six in each half.