NORTH CAROLINA 74, Miami 71 – Harrison Barnes should not have been named a pre-season All-American nor is he likely to remain one at season’s end. But the promising freshman who still struggles to generate consistent offensive production has found his niche – the clutch shot.
Last night in a Miami, Barnes scored the Tar Heels final five points including the game winning three-pointer as the shot clock expired. He had early tied the game at 39 as the first half ended.
North Carolina continued their pattern which has plagued them in all of their ACC save for their Chapel Hill win over Clemson – they fall behind early and then rally behind a stingy defense. Again last night the Tar Heels shut down their opponent in the final minutes of the game. Miami went the final 4:14 without scoring a basket.
The Heels had a bumpy landing thanks to a Florida thunderstorm and things were still shaky when the Canes ran up an early 14 point lead behind eight first half three pointers. But North Carolina ultimately got 13 points from Barnes and 12 from Dexter Strickland to secure another conference road win.
The Tar Heels (14-5 overall, 4-1 ACC) have won seven consecutive games against Miami (12-8, 1-5).
Durand Scott had 18 and Grant 17 for the Hurricanes, who lost despite a season-high 13 3-pointers. The Canes scored 39 points from behind the arc and only 26 from in front of it.
The Tar Heels were saved by good free throw shooting – 85%, making 12 of 14.
The game featured 13 second half lead changes.