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Late Run Pushes North Carolina Past Notre Dame 83-66

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Gerry Broome/AP Photo

A late 13-0 run by North Carolina (20-7, 9-5) in just over three minutes helped the Tar Heels fend off Notre Dame (15-11, 5-8) 83-66 Monday night in Chapel Hill.

Notre Dame had chances in the second half to take its first lead since early in the contest, but North Carolina kept answering on both ends of the court to stay ahead.

Here is blue & Gold Illustrated's half-by-half recap of the Irish loss. The full box score can be FOUND HERE.

FIRST HALF

North Carolina forward Cameron Johnson opened the game knocking down a jumper to give the Tar Heels the early lead.

Notre Dame responded with a 5-0 run behind four points from senior big man Martinas Geben with 17:39 left in the half.

The Irish then went scoreless over the next 3:03 which allowed the Tar Heels to go on 10-0 run behind three-pointers from guards Joel Berry and Kenny Williams. North Carolina started the game 5-of-11 from the field while Notre Dame made just two of its first eight attempts.

Junior big man Elijah Burns helped end the run with a free throw and a jumper that bounced in to cut the North Carolina lead to 12-8. Tar Heels big man Sterling Manley answered quickly with a jump hook on the other end.

After starting 0-for-6 from the three-point line, the Irish hit two-straight thanks to sophomore forward John Mooney which helped Notre Dame trail just 16-14 at the under-12 media timeout (10:49) despite 2-of-8 behind the arc and 2-of-7 from the charity stripe.

Junior Irish guard Rex Pflueger negated a 3-0 run by North Carolina with a three-pointer of his own off a nice assist from senior point guard Matt Farrell. Mooney connected on his third triple of the half to cut the North Carolina lead to 21-20 with 9:05 left.

The Tar Heels went on a quick 5-0 run behind a three-pointer from Johnson and a bucket from Berry. A dunk by Irish senior big man Austin Torres made it 26-22 with 7:02 left in the half.

Williams and Irish guard TJ Gibbs combined for the next 10 game points with four free throws from Gibbs and Williams connecting on his own free throw, a three-pointer and a bucket.

A three-pointer from Mooney made it 32-29 North Carolina with 5:07 left in the half. The Tar Heels led 34-31 with 3:06 remaining.

Berry and guard Andrew Platek got buckets during the final three minutes while the Irish got another triple from Mooney to end the half down 38-34.

Mooney lead the Irish with 15 points with Berry and Williams each getting nine points for the Tar Heels. Farrell, Gibbs and Pflueger combined for 1-of-18 from the floor in the half.

Notre Dame hit 10-of-28 (35.7 percent) from the field in the half including 6-of-16 behind the arc. North Carolina finished 15-of-30 overall and 4-of-9 from deep.

SECOND HALF

North Carolina continued to lead in the opening minutes holding a 48-42 lead at the under-16 media timeout.

The Tar Heels got buckets from Luke Maye, Theo Pinson and Johnson while adding a three-pointer from Berry to stay up by two possessions. Geben score six of Notre Dame’s eight points in the opening four minutes.

Farrell finally got a basket to fall connecting on a runner in the lane. Notre Dame made three of its first six shots in the half while the Tar Heels went 4-of-7.

A three-pointer from Williams gave North Carolina its largest lead at 51-42 with 15:40 left in the game. The teams traded baskets which forced a timeout by the Irish with 13:37 left down 53-44.

Geben continued his strong play in the half getting two more buckets over the next two minutes while Farrell got his first three-pointer to fall. The Irish took a 5-0 run into the under-12 media timeout trailing 56-51.

Pinson made it 58-51 Tar Heels before Mooney connected on his sixth three-pointer of the game which was followed by a Gibbs three-pointer.

The 6-0 run closed the North Carolina lead to 58-57. A pair of free throws by Pinson gave North Carolina a 60-57 lead at the under-8 media timeout.

Notre Dame was down 63-59, but Mooney missed three free throw attempts before a Pinson layup made it a five-swing and a 65-59 North Carolina lead. A dunk by Geben helped close the gap to 67-63 with just under six minutes to play.

The Tar Heels broke out a quick 9-0 run over 1:37 to take control of the game up 76-63 at the under-4 media timeout (3:53). Pinson started the run with a personal 5-0 run before a tipin from Maye and layup by Johnson pushed it to 9-0.

Notre Dame couldn’t make shots late going 1-of-6 over the final four minutes to help the Tar Heels close the game out on a 16-3 run over the game’s final 5:30 to win 83-66.

For the game, the Irish shot 22-of-58 (37.9 percent) from the floor and 10-of-27 (37 percent) behind the arc. Geben and Mooney finished with 18 points each on 14-of-17 shooting. Gibbs (10) and Farrell (9) rounded out the top scorers for the Irish.

Notre Dame shot 52.2 percent (12-of-23) from the free throw line.

North Carolina hit 32-of-60 (53.3 percent) with a 6-of-16 effort from three-point territory. Berry finished with a game-high 21 points to lead Roy Williams’ group. Pinson had 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists while Williams (14) and Johnson (13) combined for 27 points.

The Tar Heels won the rebounding battle 42-29 including 12-10 on the offensive glass.

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