No. 3 North Carolina survives close call vs. Miami

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 10 Feb, 2024 at 11:57 PM

Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

RJ Davis led the way with a game-high 25 points and No. 3 North Carolina kept its grip on the Atlantic Coast Conference lead with a 75-72 victory over Miami on Saturday afternoon in Coral Gables, Fla.

Freshman Elliot Cadeau scored a season-high 19 points with eight assists and Harrison Ingram added 13 points for the Tar Heels (19-5, 11-2 ACC). Armando Bacot overcame a sluggish first half to post his 79th career double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Bacot moved into the No. 3 spot in school career scoring with 2,150 points and also is now third in career rebounds in the ACC with 1,581.

Nijel Pack and Norchad Omier led the Hurricanes (15-9, 6-7) with 20 points each, while Omier added 11 rebounds.

After being outscored 30-20 over the final 12:18 of the first half, the Tar Heels opened the second period on an 18-7 blitz that put them up 58-48 at the 13:11 mark. The Hurricanes went through a 1-of-9 shooting stretch to open the period after closing out the first half 7-of-11.

The Hurricanes were within 73-71 entering the final minute, but Ingram made one of two free throws to make it a 3-point game, and Pack missed a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left. North Carolina got the rebound, and Cormac Ryan also made one of two free throws with eight seconds left.

The Hurricanes' Wooga Poplar went to the line for Miami with 2.1 seconds left. He hit one, but the Heels got the rebound after he intentionally missed the second.

Miami starter Kyshawn George sat out the game with an ankle injury, while North Carolina was missing key defender Seth Trimble (upper body injury) for a second straight game.

The Tar Heels took command early, going on a 10-0 run after Pack opened the scoring with a jumper. North Carolina built a 20-8 lead just over seven minutes into the game.

But Miami got within a point at 30-29 and took a 33-32 lead with on Poplar's layup and free throw with 3:29 remaining.

Pack (18 points) and Omier (16) combined for 34 points as the Hurricanes went into the break leading 41-40. Davis (16) and Cadeau (11) supplied 27 for North Carolina.

--Field Level Media