Hurricanes Drop Heartbreaker to UNC, 74-71

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) – Harrison Barnes sank a 3-pointer with 6.6 seconds left, and North Carolina overcame an early 14-point deficit to beat the Miami Hurricanes 74-71 Wednesday night.

The Hurricanes have lost their past three games by a total of seven points. The latest defeat came despite the Hurricanes’ scoring 16 consecutive points in the first half.

Barnes sank a 15-footer for the Tar Heels (14-5 overall, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 1:09 left to tie the score for the 11th time, at 71, and when the Hurricanes’ Reggie Johnson missed an inside shot, the Tar Heels got the ball back.

Following a timeout, Barnes took a pass from Kendall Marshall and swished a shot from the right side. Miami’s Malcolm Grant missed a 3-point try with one second left that would have forced overtime.

Barnes was held scoreless for the first 18 minutes but finished with 13 points. Dexter Strickland missed only one shot and scored 12 for North Carolina.

Durand Scott had 18 and Grant 17 for the Hurricanes, who lost despite a season-high tying 13 3-pointers.

The Tar Heels started slowly, as if they were still rattled by a bumpy, scary descent when their plane landed Tuesday night in a Miami thunderstorm.

His team endured a turbulent first half. The Hurricanes sank four shots in a row — all 3-pointers — during a spurt that put them up 18-4 after less than 7 minutes. Johnson capped the run with a dunk — his third basket.

Miami had six 3-pointers before North Carolina made one.

But the Tar Heels scored on 19 of 22 possessions to get back in the game. They made six shots in a row during a 13-2 run that cut Miami’s lead to 31-29, and finally pulled even at 39 on Barnes’ 3-pointer, a buzzer-beater to end the half.

While the first half was a roller coaster, the second half was a seesaw, with 13 lead changes. Scott sank both ends of a one-and-one with two minutes remaining to make the score 69-all, and Grant’s two free throws put Miami ahead 71-69.

  1st 2nd F
Miami 39 32 71
North Carolina 39 35 74
Team Stat Comparison
Points 71 74
FG Made-Attempted 26-57 28-58
FG Percentage 45.6 48.3
3P Made-Attempted 13-28 6-16
3P Percentage 46.6 37.5
FT Made-Attempted 6-10 12-14
FT Percentage 60.0 85.7
Rebounds 30 34
Assists 13 15
Turnovers 12 11
Miami Stat Leaders UNC
D. Scott 18 Points 13 H. Barnes
R. Johnson 13 Rebounds 7 J. Henson
M. Grant 5 Assists 5 L. Drew II
D. Scott 3 Steals 2 Barnes/Bullock
J. Gamble 2 Blocks 4 J. Henson

But the Hurricanes went without a basket over the final 4:14.

Tonight’s Starters
Starting for Miami tonight was Durand Scott, Garrius Adams, Reggie Johnson, Malcolm Grant and Julian Gamble. This is the sixth game Coach Haith has used this starting lineup. The team now has a 4-2 mark with this lineup. This was the first start by Julian Gamble since December 18th win over Stetson.

Tonight’s Opponent
North Carolina’s record now stands at 14-5, and 4-1 in the ACC, good for third place in the league. The Tar Heels garnered votes in the most recent ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
North Carolina was the opponent in the first ever game played at the BankUnited Center on January 4, 2003 when the Hurricanes defeated the Tar Heels 64-61 in overtime.

It’s Raining Threes
With Durand Scott‘s three-pointer just over three minutes into the game, the Hurricanes have now made a three-pointer in 280 straight games. Scott enjoys shooting from deep against UNC, as he finished with a career-high four triples on five attempts. His previous best was three at North Carolina on March 2, 2010, en route to a career-high 29 points.

The `Canes went 8-13 from downtown in the first half marking one their best performances from beyond the arc in the first half this season. They previously hit eight threes in the opening half versus Pepperdine on Dec. 30, 2010, and hit a season-high 10 on 20 attempts in the opening stanza at Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 27, 2010.

Adrian Thomas connected on four triples, and has hit from long range in 14 of the last 15 games and 64 of his last 72. This is his 10th game of the season with three-plus threes.

Miami converted 13 three-pointers for the game, tying a season-high and just two shy of the school record. That is the most threes North Carolina has conceded all season.

Out of the Gates
The Hurricanes went on a 16-0 run over 3:07 in the opening minutes to give UM 18-4 early lead. North Carolina eventually battled back and used a 13-2 run midway late in the half to come within two points at 31-29. Preseason All-American Harrison Barnes knocked down a three to knot the score at 39-all at the break and knocked down his second three of the game in the closing seconds to get the win for the visiting Tar Heels.

Daily Double
Reggie Johnson registered his 10th double-double of the season with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. He ties Joe Wylie (1989-90) for sixth in Hurricanes history for double-doubles in a season.

Balanced Play
Reggie Johnson, Durand Scott, Malcolm Grant, Garrius Adams and Adrian Thomas all reached double-digit points in the game. The last time five Hurricanes reached all reached that mark was on Nov. 27 when Miami defeated Florida Gulf Coast on the road.

Faces in the Crowd
Among those in attendance tonight were President Donna Shalala, Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt, Al Golden, Art Kehoe, Jim Morris, former Miami basketball standout and 2011 ACC Legend Eric Brown, Tim Hardaway, Desmond Howard and Jimmy Graham.