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UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Richmond's Cedrick Lindsay isn't in most conversations about the best guards in the country.
But after a career-best performance against No. 24 North Carolina on Saturday, his name may get a few more mentions.
The senior put up 29 points in an 82-72 loss to the Tar Heels in the Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament.
"I thought Ced came into the game confident and aggressive, knowing that he belongs on the court with anybody," coach Chris Mooney said. "He was terrific."
He just wasn't enough to help Richmond (3-2) overcome two other career days by North Carolina sophomores Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson. Paige scored 26 and Johnson added 24 points to pace the Tar Heels.
"Marcus and Brice certainly gave us something we needed offensively because we've been struggling scoring wise," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "We still made mistakes that gave me a lot of more gray hairs down the stretch. But hopefully we'll learn some things and take those kind of plays and not make them anymore."
North Carolina has been playing this season without P.J. Hairston, who was the Tar Heels' leading scorer a year ago, and senior guard Leslie McDonald didn't travel to the tournament because NCAA eligibility concerns.
Authorities twice cited Hairston during the offseason while he drove rental cars linked to a felon. The school hasn't specified McDonald's issue, though it sent a letter ordering a company making designer mouth guards to stop using McDonald on its web site over the summer.
Without the pair, North Carolina (3-1) lost a jaw-dropper to Belmont a week ago, 83-80.
The Tar Heels also trailed for much of the first half against Richmond, and were up 66-62 with just under 4 minutes to play when the Spiders' Terry Allen picked up his fourth foul.
Johnson hit a put-back that started an 8-0 run that gave the Tar Heels control of the game.
"(Allen) getting his fourth foul is obviously a part of it," Mooney said. "Terry is a good scorer, a good rebounder, a good guy to have. I thought we weren't as crisp in those possessions as we could have been. They got too many easy opportunities and you can't give them any."
A 3-pointer by Paige made it 71-62 and North Carolina held on down the stretch.
Kendall Anthony had 13 points for Richmond, but Lindsay kept them in the game. He was 7 of 14 from the field and hit three from 3-point range for Richmond.
"If I need to score or play defense, whatever it is to help our guys win, I'll do that," he said.
Paige scored 16 of his points in the second half and was 6 of 9 from 3-point range. The rest of the Tar Heels were 0 for 4. Johnson added 12 rebounds, giving the sophomore his first career double-double.
Richmond jumped out quickly scoring 10 of the games' first 12 points.
The Tar Heels chipped away, tying the game on a Johnson jumper midway through the first half, but they didn't take their first lead until just before intermission.
Johnson's emphatic block, and two-handed dunk at the other end sparked an 8-0 that gave UNC a 38-33 advantage early in the second half.
"I've been doing that all season," Johnson said. "You've got to do it. If that's what they need me to do, I'm going to come off the bench and I'm going to bring it."
They stretched that lead to seven early in the second half before Richmond came back. Lindsay's runner in the lane tied the game at 51, and the teams were tied again at 56 on a 3-pointer by Anthony.
But another 3-pointer by Paige stopped the Spiders' momentum.
"There was a couple loose balls and a couple of offensive rebounds that they went up and got them, and that was the difference," Lindsay said.
Richmond was coming off a 74-63 overtime win against Hofstra. The Spiders beat Belmont 69-61 on Nov. 11 in Richmond.
Carolina has now beaten Richmond in 15 of their 17 meetings. The two teams hadn't played each other since 1997.