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Off the cuff: Miami responded to an early deficit the way Carolina should have against Clemson. Against the Tigers, the Tar Heels trailed 15-2 early and were still down by nine at the half. The Hurricanes trailed the Heels 15-4 early and were UP by a point at the half.

"We had a nice flow there at the beginning and then it went away," Coach Davis said.

The Hurricanes' Pack and Omier accounted for 34 of their team's 41 first-half points.

It took a game-changing run early in the second half by the Heels to help ensure the victory at Miami. And some increased defensive pressure on Pack and Omier who combined for just six points in the second half.

Coach Davis said Bacot played better defense against Omier, really going after the big man in the second half, drawing fouls. As for Pack, he got a little gimpy for a few minutes but it took some double teaming and some ball denial by Carolina's RJ Davis.

"I tried to make the passes to him tough," RJ Davis said. And when Pack got the ball, Davis said he tried to force him into bad shots. In addition to denying Pack the ball, Davis said he was more aggressive going around or over screens.

Seth Trimble missed his second game in a row after getting banged up in practice.

Carolina 75, Miami 72
Tar Heels take command, then hold on


(Photo by UNC Sports Information)

North Carolina came out hot, faltered, came from behind and then had to hold on - finding a way to win 75-72 at Miami. (2/10)

The Tar Heels, unlike getting behind 15-2 early like against Clemson, got out front early 15-4 against the Hurricanes. After increasing the margin to 12 at 20-8 and hitting eight of their first 13 shots, the Heels went cold. Meanwhile, Miami's Nijel Pack hit four three pointers putting the Hurricanes up 37-33 with three minutes left in the first half.

Carolina still trailed 41-40 at the half but the Heels went on an 18-4 run early in the second half to take a double-digit lead at 58-48 with 13 minutes left. During the run, Cormac Ryan and Harrison Ingram each hit threes and RJ Davis hit four free throws in a row after drawing a foul and converting on shots from a technical on Miami's Norchad Omier.

After a top-of-the-key three by Elliott Cadeau put Carolina up 68-56 with just under eight minutes to play, the Heels seemed to be in command. A 7-0 run drew Miami within five with 5:25 still left.

Cadeau passed to Bacot for a dunk and then drove by his defender to put the Heels up nine at 72-63 with just over four minutes to go. But the Heels went the last four minutes without a field goal and the Hurricanes went on an 8-1 run to draw within a bucket at 73-71 with 1:10 still left.

A frenetic last minute included a Miami blocked shot, a Miami steal, an Armando Bacot block, a missed three by Pack, a Miami lane violation, a fifth foul on Bacot and one free throw each from Ingram and Ryan.

"I was proud of our guys responding to adversity in both halves," UNC coach Hubert Davis said, also alluding to the Heels responding to the Clemson loss. "It's all about coming back from adversity. This team has always done that so I didn't expect anything else. This was a huge game for us."

North Carolina won despite shooting just 40 percent, committing 16 turnovers and hitting only 16 of 24 free throws.

Leading the way for the Hurricanes, now 15-8 and 5-7 in the league, were Pack and Omier with 20 points each, with 34 of the combined 40 points coming in the first half.

The Tar Heels, led by Davis' 25 points and Cadeau's season-high 19 points, improve to 19-5 and 11-2 in the ACC with a game at Syracuse set for Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Box score


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