|BARNES (Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)|
The Tar Heels (22-4, 9-2 ACC), who came in averaging 83.5 points, shot only 38 percent and went 5 for 18 from 3-point range. But they forced turnovers on four consecutive possessions in the second half to get back in the game, and held Miami without a point for nearly five minutes down the stretch.
“Defensively we can be a very good team,” said center Tyler Zeller, who was held to nine points but made three steals. “We can win games in the 50s and 60s. And when we start making shots, hopefully we can win by a bigger margin.”
North Carolina took a half-game lead over Duke and Florida State atop the league standings.
Miami (15-9, 6-5) lost to the Tar Heels for the 18th time in their 20 meetings, including two defeats this year.
Durand Scott scored 15 points for Miami, and Kenny Kadji added 13 points and seven rebounds. But Malcolm Grant’s shooting slump continued, and he finished 1 for 6 and scored three points, nine below his average.
Harrison Barnes led North Carolina with 23 points, including a trio of 3-pointers in the final 16 minutes. John Henson had 14 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks for the Tar Heels, who beat Miami for the 10th time in a row.
|(Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)|
But they outscored the Hurricanes 14-6 off turnovers.
In three of their past four wins, the Tar Heels have shot under 40 percent.
The Tar Heels sank only five 3-pointers, all in the final 16 minutes. They fell behind 44-36, then used defense to rally. The deficit matched the largest erased by North Carolina in a win this season.
Fan chants of “Aus-tin Ri-vers” down the stretch failed to rattle the Tar Heels. Rivers hit a 3-point buzzer-beater last week to cap a furious rally and help Duke beat North Carolina.
The near-capacity crowd of 7,071 was Miami’s largest at home this season. Larranaga and his players visited campus dorms Monday, passed out chicken wings and T-shirts and encouraged students to attend the game.
Wake Forest had lost six straight games by double-digit margins, but McKie helped the Demon Deacons take control in a tight contest.
Wake Forest shot just 33 percent but came through with key baskets that twice beat the shot clock during the decisive winning run. McKie scored the first seven points of the spurt, which gave Wake Forest an eight-point lead with about 2 1/2 minutes left.
Glen Rice Jr. scored 12 points to lead the Yellow Jackets (9-16, 2-9), who shot 37.3 percent (19 of 51).
Wake Forest shot just 4-for-20 from 3-point range, but finished with a 42-32 rebounding advantage and a 17-11 edge in second-chance points.
C.J. Harris finished with just eight points for Wake Forest, snapping his run of 24 straight games with double-figure scoring totals.
The Yellow Jackets have lost eight of nine and 12 of 14 games.