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Feb 26, 2024 9:34 pm

RJ Davis scores career-high 42, lifts No. 9 UNC past Miami

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RJ Davis scored a career-high 42 points, with 21 points in each half, and No. 9 North Carolina finally got clicking and still had to fend off Miami for a 75-71 victory Monday night at Chapel Hill, N.C.

Davis connected on four consecutive 3-pointers in the second half to send the Dean Smith Center crowd into a frenzy. His previous career-high total was 36 points. He broke the arena record that had been 40 points by former North Carolina player Tyler Hansbrough.

Davis boosted the lead to 73-70 with a free throw with 24 seconds left and the Tar Heels snatched the offensive rebound when he missed the second attempt.

North Carolina (22-6, 14-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its third consecutive game to create a 1 ½-game lead on second-place Duke, which meets last-place Louisville on Wednesday night.

Norchad Omier, who had 22 points, missed a potential tying shot from the lane with less than 50 seconds left. Bensley Joseph racked up 21 points and Kyshawn George added 14 points for the Hurricanes (15-14, 6-12), who lost their seventh game in a row.

Hubert Davis coached his 100th game for North Carolina, improving his record to 71-29.

North Carolina looked ready to pull away with a 50-38 lead, but the Hurricanes answered with an 8-0 run to keep some of the suspense.

Davis drained consecutive 3s after a timeout with about 7 1/2 minutes to play, pushing the Tar Heels to a 64-50 advantage. He added two more long balls as part of his 7-for-11 shooting from beyond the arc.

Miami was within 34-32 until Davis capped the first-half scoring with a 3-pointer. The Tar Heels were probably feeling a bit free after Saturday’s tussle at Virginia, where they came away with a 54-44 victory.

George hit three first-half 3-pointers to help keep the Hurricanes close. But Miami called for a timeout just 44 seconds into the second half after North Carolina scored on two baskets in the lane coming out of the break.

Guard Cormac Ryan, who led North Carolina in scoring for the first time with 18 points Saturday, shot 3-for-13 from the floor, including 1-for-9 on 3s.

This turned out about as difficult for the Tar Heels as their 75-72 escape Feb. 10 at Miami.

Miami was without injured guards Wooga Poplar (13.7 points per game), who had started 26 games this season, and Nijel Pack, who missed his fourth straight game.

–Field Level Media

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