Notre Dame 71, UNC 70

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Zach Auguste's basket off an offensive rebound with 1:07 left helped No. 13 Notre Dame hold off No. 18 North Carolina 71-70 on Monday night.

Box Score
Auguste's basket got the lead back for the Fighting Irish (15-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who had led by 11 points in the second half only to see the Tar Heels (11-4, 1-1) briefly push ahead late. Then Notre Dame survived two shots by preseason all-American Marcus Paige in the final seconds, the last a desperate 3-point heave that wasn't close as the horn sounded.

Now Notre Dame is 3-0 in league play for the first time - Big East or ACC - and off to its best start in 15 seasons under Mike Brey.

Auguste finished with 18 points while Pat Connaughton had 16 for the Irish, who shot 46 percent and overcame their own cold shooting down the stretch to hang on.

Paige finished with 15 points for the Tar Heels, who shot 37 percent and couldn't quite complete the comeback on a night when they struggled to get consistent defensive stops until the final 10 minutes. North Carolina missed 13 of 14 shots in the final 7-plus minutes to fall a basket short.

Kennedy Meeks hit two free throws with 2:07 left to give UNC a 70-69 lead - its first lead since 4-2 - and get the home crowd roaring. But Auguste rebounded Connaughton's missed shot and put it back in to get the lead back, snapping a run of eight straight misses and giving Notre Dame its first basket in more than 9 minutes.

After Auguste's basket, UNC had two chances to go back ahead, but Paige missed a contested drive into the paint in the final 10 seconds. Notre Dame's Steve Vasturia rebounded the miss and was fouled, but missed both free throws to ultimately give the Tar Heels a final possession with 1.6 seconds left from near midcourt that ended with Paige's failed heave.



Notre Dame: Jerian Grant finished with eight points on 1-for-8 shooting with eight assists before fouling out with 2:07 left to set up Meeks' late free throws. ... Notre Dame made 10 of 23 3-pointers. ... It was Notre Dame's 11th straight win.

UNC: For the second straight day, the school held a moment of silence for ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott, an alumnus who died Sunday after a lengthy fight against cancer. UNC also honored Scott during Sunday's women's game against rival North Carolina State. Students on the baseline risers also held up signs reading "Stu" during the pregame announcement. ... J.P. Tokoto and Meeks each scored 12 points.


UNC hosts No. 5 Louisville on Saturday.

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