UNC 96, Miami 71

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Brice Johnson had 16 points and 15 rebounds and No. 5 North Carolina regrouped from an emotional loss to rival Duke by routing No. 11 Miami 96-71 on Saturday in a matchup of teams tied for first in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Box Score

Justin Jackson added 15 points for the Tar Heels (22-5, 11-3), who opened the second half on a 10-0 burst to turn this into blowout. North Carolina shot 54 percent and shut down Miami at every turn while leading by as many as 38 points.

The Tar Heels were coming off Wednesday's crushing 74-73 loss to the Blue Devils, a game in which they led nearly all night only to lose control in the final 3 minutes. And that allowed the Hurricanes (21-5, 10-4) to climb into a first-place tie to set up a critical game in a wide-open league title chase.

It turned into a dud, thanks to the Tar Heels turning in the kind of dominating performance they haven't shown consistently this season — the kind that reminded why they were picked the nation's top-ranked team in the preseason.

Six players scored in double figures, while the Tar Heels made 9 of 20 3-point attempts only days after going 1 for 13 from behind the arc against the Blue Devils. UNC also dominated the glass by a 46-29 margin, committed just nine turnovers and flirted with its second 100-point performance this season.

Johnson even hit a shot from his own charge circle, only it came well after the halftime horn.

This wasn't what the Hurricanes were expecting. They had come in with five straight wins to climb into the first-place tie. And this started a run of four straight against ranked league opponents, with coach Jim Larranaga saying it was a challenging stretch of games "but ones you look forward to."

But the Hurricanes shot 42percent, including 6 for 19 from 3-point range. And after trailing 42-33 at halftime, the Hurricanes managed just five shots and five turnovers over the next 8 minutes while the Tar Heels went on a blowout-producing run.

Angel Rodriguez and Ivan Cruz Uceda scored 12 points each to lead Miami.

TIP-INS

UNC: Jackson had eight assists. ... Isaiah Hicks started over Kennedy Meeks and scored 12 points. ... Freshman reserve Kenny Williams III had a scary first-half fall and landed on the back of his neck, but was back on the bench for the second half.

UP NEXT

UNC is at North Carolina State on Wednesday.


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