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Davis drops career-high 42 points as No. 9 North Carolina tops Miami

Grant Halverson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — RJ Davis poured in four straight 3-pointers during a riveting second-half stretch on his way to a career-high 42 points, and No. 9 North Carolina held off skidding Miami 75-71 on Monday night.

Davis, a senior guard who set a Smith Center scoring record, had 21 points in each half. He picked up the pace with a sterling display with less than 7 1/2 minutes to play, and ended up shooting 7 for 11 on 3s.

The only player for the Tar Heels (22-6, 14-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) to score in double figures, Davis went 1 for 2 at the free-throw line with 24.4 seconds remaining to give UNC a 73-70 advantage.

Norchad Omier had 22 points, Bensley Joseph scored 21 and Kyshawn George added 14 to lead Miami (15-14, 6-12), which lost its seventh game in a row.

Omier missed a hook shot in the lane that could have tied it with about 45 seconds left. Then twice in the last 25 seconds North Carolina secured offensive rebounds off missed free throws.

North Carolina, with three regular-season games remaining, stretched its ACC lead to 1 1/2 games over second-place Duke.

Miami kept it close, but Davis connected on 3-pointers on consecutive possessions for a 64-50 lead with about seven minutes to play before the Hurricanes came storming back.

Earlier in the second half, North Carolina went ahead 50-38 before Miami rattled off the next eight points.

Davis, who has scored 20 or more points in a half four times this season, propelled the Tar Heels to a 37-32 lead at the break. He scored 18 of North Carolina’s first 28 points.


The previous arena record was 40 points by former Tar Heels All-American Tyler Hansbrough against Georgia Tech in 2006. … Miami guards Wooga Poplar and Nigel Pack weren't in uniform. Poplar has started 26 games this season. Pack sat out his fourth straight game. ... When missing at least one regular starter, the Hurricanes are 0-6 in ACC road games. … North Carolina won 75-72 on Feb. 10 at Miami.


Miami: The Hurricanes, already assured a losing conference record for the fourth time in six seasons, hung around for a long time, even closing to 72-70 with less than two minutes to play. Miami fell to 1-4 against AP Top 25 teams this season, so this was another signal that an undermanned Hurricanes team is going to have trouble.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels began a three-game homestand and gave Hubert Davis a victory in his 100th game (71-29) as head coach. It took time for the energy level to rise in the building, but RJ Davis made sure to provide enough thrills.


Miami: At home March 6 vs. Boston College.

North Carolina: At home Saturday vs. North Carolina State.


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