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Maye helps No. 21 North Carolina beat rival NC State 96-89

Michigan v North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 29: Luke Maye #32 of the North Carolina Tar Heels yells to his teammates against the Michigan Wolverines during their game at Dean Smith Center on November 29, 2017 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Luke Maye scored 27 of his career-high 33 points after halftime to help No. 21 North Carolina beat rival North Carolina State 96-89 on Saturday.

Maye also had 17 rebounds and spent most of the second half as a one-man show for the Tar Heels (19-7, 8-5 Atlantic Coast Conference).

But he got plenty of help as the Tar Heels closed out the Wolfpack (16-9, 6-6), including when Kenny Williams hit a 3-pointer with 1:13 left and UNC protecting an 88-84 lead.

UNC shot 78 percent (25 of 32) after halftime behind Maye’s 12-of-14 showing.

Joel Berry II added 16 points for the Tar Heels, who were less than 48 hours removed from an emotional win against another rival: ninth-ranked Duke.

Torin Dorn scored 21 points to lead the Wolfpack, who won in overtime in Chapel Hill two weeks ago. But N.C. State couldn’t complete its first regular-season sweep of the Tar Heels since 2003.

BIG PICTURE

UNC: The Tar Heels were coming off Thursday’s 82-78 win against the Blue Devils, but Berry stirred things up for this one two days earlier when he said he didn’t consider the Wolfpack a rival. It was a loud and rowdy environment, but the Tar Heels responded with a second straight strong second-half performance.

N.C. State: The NCAA Tournament resume is the most pressing issue. The Wolfpack entered with top-line wins (Arizona, Duke, Clemson, UNC) offset somewhat by an otherwise-weak schedule that featured 12 wins against Quadrant 3 and 4 teams -- the lower half of the NCAA selection committee’s revamped system evaluating win quality. N.C. State’s still in the chase, but this one would’ve helped immensely.

UP NEXT

UNC: The Tar Heels complete a run of three games in five days by hosting Notre Dame on Monday.

N.C. State: Syracuse hosts the Wolfpack on Wednesday night in a matchup of teams seeking to bolster their postseason chances.