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.
But the Hurricanes went without a basket over the final 4:14.
It’s Raining Threes
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
Faces in the Crowd