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No. 9 North Carolina beats Miami 75-71, hands Hurricanes seventh straight loss

UNC's RJ Davis sets Smith Center scoring record with 42 points
North Carolina Tar Heels guard RJ Davis drives against Miami Hurricanes guards Matthew Cleveland and Paul Djobet during first half, Feb. 26, 2024
Posted at 9:58 PM, Feb 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-26 21:58:55-05

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — RJ Davis poured in four straight 3-pointers during a riveting second-half stretch on his way to a career-high 42 points, and No. 9 North Carolina held off skidding Miami 75-71 on Monday night.

Davis, a senior guard who set a Smith Center scoring record, had 21 points in each half. He picked up the pace with a sterling display with less than 7 1/2 minutes to play, and ended up shooting 7 for 11 on 3s.

The only player for the Tar Heels (22-6, 14-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) to score in double figures, Davis went 1 for 2 at the free-throw line with 24.4 seconds remaining to give UNC a 73-70 advantage.

Norchad Omier had 22 points, Bensley Joseph scored 21 and Kyshawn George added 14 to lead Miami (15-14, 6-12), which lost its seventh game in a row.

North Carolina Tar Heels forward Jae'Lyn Withers and Miami Hurricanes forward Norchad Omier battle for ball during second half, Feb. 26, 2024
North Carolina forward Jae'Lyn Withers and Miami forward Norchad Omier vie for the ball during the second half Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Omier missed a hook shot in the lane that could have tied it with about 45 seconds left. Then twice in the last 25 seconds North Carolina secured offensive rebounds off missed free throws.

North Carolina, with three regular-season games remaining, stretched its ACC lead to 1 1/2 games over second-place Duke.

Miami kept it close, but Davis connected on 3-pointers on consecutive possessions for a 64-50 lead with about seven minutes to play before the Hurricanes came storming back.

Earlier in the second half, North Carolina went ahead 50-38 before Miami rattled off the next eight points.

Davis, who has scored 20 or more points in a half four times this season, propelled the Tar Heels to a 37-32 lead at the break. He scored 18 of North Carolina’s first 28 points.