LAHAINA >> Isaiah Hicks scored 22 points, Kennedy Meeks had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 4 North Carolina overpowered host Chaminade 104-61 in the Maui Invitational tonight.
North Carolina (5-0) needed a little time to shake the pesky Silverswords, doing so midway through the first half by pounding the ball inside.
The Tar Heels outscored Division II Chaminade 46-8 in the paint and had 26 second-chance points on 17 offensive rebounds to earn a spot in the semifinals against Oklahoma State on Tuesday.
Tony Bradley added 14 points and North Carolina shot 57 percent from the floor.
Chaminade (2-1) shot well early to hang with the Tar Heels, but had little chance once they picked up the defensive pressure and got the ball inside on offense. The Silverswords went 10 of 28 from 3-point range and were outrebounded 52-23.
Rohndell Goodwin led Chaminade with 18 points, and Kiran Shastri added 13.
Chaminade has a team filled with upperclassmen and has had a penchant for pulling off upsets. The Silverswords helped start the Maui Invitational with their shocker over top-ranked Virginia in 1982 and have knocked off big-name programs at the tournament through the years, most recently Texas in 2012.
North Carolina was not a favorable matchup for them.
The Tar Heels are long, athletic and considered national-title contenders even with forwards Luke Maye and Theo Pinson out with injuries.
The Silverswords’ only shot at another upset would be to shoot the lights out. They did early, making 12 of their first 21 field goal attempts to stay within 28-24 midway through the first half.
But then North Carolina’s heft inside began to wear Chaminade down.
Behind the 6-foot-10 Meeks and the 6-9 Hicks, the Tar Heels began to stretch the lead. Meeks had 14 points by halftime, Hicks 13 and they combined to hit 11 of 13 shots to help North Carolina build a 50-34 lead.
The Tar Heels opened the second half with an 11-4 run and never looked back.
Chaminade meets UConn in the second round.