North Carolina edges Miami 74-71
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Harrison Barnes sank a 3-pointer with 6.6 seconds left, and North Carolina overcame an early 14-point deficit to beat the Miami Hurricanes 74-71 Wednesday night.
The Hurricanes have lost their past three games by a total of seven points. The latest defeat came despite the Hurricanes' scoring 16 consecutive points in the first half.
The Tar Heels (14-5 overall, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won seven consecutive games against Miami (12-8, 1-5).
Barnes sank a 15-footer with 1:09 left to tie the score for the 11th time, at 71, and when the Hurricanes' Reggie Johnson missed an inside shot, the Tar Heels got the ball back.
Following a timeout, Barnes took a pass from Kendall Marshall and swished a shot from the right side. Miami's Malcolm Grant missed a 3-point try with one second left that would have forced overtime.
Barnes was held scoreless for the first 18 minutes but finished with 13 points. Dexter Strickland missed only one shot and scored 12 for North Carolina.
Durand Scott had 18 and Grant 17 for the Hurricanes, who lost despite a season-high 13 3-pointers.
The Tar Heels started slowly, as if they were still rattled by a bumpy, scary descent when their plane landed Tuesday night in a Miami thunderstorm.
"WOW!!" Strickland tweeted at the time. "I really just had flashes of death on this plane! This plane ride just (scarred) me for life!!"
His team endured a turbulent first half. The Hurricanes sank four shots in a row — all 3-pointers — during a spurt that put them up 18-4 after less than 7 minutes. Johnson capped the run with a dunk — his third basket.
Miami had six 3-pointers before North Carolina made one.
But the Tar Heels scored on 19 of 22 possessions to get back in the game. They made six shots in a row during a 13-2 run that cut Miami's lead to 31-29, and finally pulled even at 39 on Barnes' 3-pointer, a buzzer-beater to end the half.
While the first half was a roller coaster, the second half was a seesaw, with 13 lead changes. Scott sank both ends of a one-and-one with two minutes remaining to make the score 69-all, and Grant's two free throws put Miami ahead 71-69.
But the Hurricanes went without a basket over the final 4:14.