Tyler Hansbrough scored 25 points on 11 of 17 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds as No. 23 North Carolina beat Miami 80-70 on Sunday night at the Bank United Center.
Junior forward Reyshawn Terry torched the Hurricanes defense for 18 points and eight boards, hitting six of nine field goals. Freshman point guard Bobby Frasor added 13 points, including three clutch baskets in the closing minutes, for the Tar Heels (15-6, 6-4).
Four Hurricanes (14-10, 6-5) reached double figures in the loss, led by Guillermo Diaz with 21 points. Robert Hite finished with 15.
UNC out rebounded Miami 33-22, dominating the offensive glass by a 17-10 margin.
“I thought North Carolina played very well,” said UM Head Coach Frank Haith. “They made all of the tough plays and took balls right out of our hands. I thought that was the difference in the game.”
Terry and Wes Miller scored the first eight points of the game for the Tar Heels. UNC opened up a 22-13 lead, shooting nine-for-nine in the first five minutes, with its first miss coming at the 14:36 mark.
A 6-0 Miami run brought the Hurricanes within four points at 33-29. Hansbrough, who picked up a technical foul for hanging on the rim, hit a lay-up and two free throws to silence the UM faithful. The ‘Canes cut their deficit to a point (39-38) with a Diaz lay-up before halftime.
Hansbrough and Terry combined for 26 points on a blistering 11 of 15 shooting in the first half.
“Tyler Hansbrough is a great player,” Haith said. “We had no answer for him. I thought Terry was outstanding too.”
Anthony King hit a pair of free throws to give UM its first lead of the night 38 seconds into the second half. Both teams got hot on the offensive end during the next eight minutes. Diaz and Hite connected on an alley-oop play to put the Hurricanes back on top 56-55 with 12:25 left.
UNC answered with a 13-2 run highlighted by Frasor, Miller and David Noel three-pointers.
“This was a big-time game for us,” said UNC Head Coach Roy Williams. “I was more impressed by how we played in the second half than at any point this year. It’s amazing how much better the game looks when you make shots.”
Trailing 69-58, the Hurricanes scored six straight points but could not get within seven points the rest of the way. Frasor hit back-to-back jumpers with less than two minutes remaining, sending the large contingency of North Carolina fans that made the trip to Coral Gables into a frenzy.
“Miami is a really good basketball team,” Williams said. “We are as happy as can be to get a win.”
Eric Kalis can be contacted at email@example.com