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No. 8 Tar Heels hold off Hurricanes 88-85 in overtime

Cameron Johnson, Kenny Williams, Chris Lykes

North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson (13) and Kenny Williams (24) celebrate with teammates following an NCAA college basketball game against Miami in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. North Carolina won 88-85 in overtime. Miami’s Chris Lykes (0) walks away at right. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

AP

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Kenny Williams hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:08 left in overtime to help eighth-ranked North Carolina hold off Miami 88-85 on Saturday.

Freshman Coby White matched his season high with 33 points for the Tar Heels (19-4, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who survived a wild finish filled with big shots by both teams. UNC forced overtime on Luke Maye’s 3-pointer with 10.2 seconds left, then got two critical free throws from Cameron Johnson with 12.3 seconds left in the extra period to cling to a three-point lead.

Miami had a final chance to tie it after a timeout, but White poked the ball loose from Chris Lykes, and Williams dove on the floor to recover the ball for a game-sealing turnover.

Lykes had his own huge game for the Hurricanes (10-13, 2-9), scoring 19 of his 27 points with five 3-pointers after halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Miami: It’s been a rough season for the Hurricanes, who won just once in January. That included an 85-76 home loss to the Tar Heels in a game that was tied at halftime. They seemingly couldn’t miss after halftime in this one, hitting 12 of their 14 3-pointers after halftime while shooting 57 percent in the second half alone. But in the end, the Hurricanes fell to 0-7 against ranked teams this season.

UNC: The Tar Heels have been rolling along since a lopsided home loss to Louisville on Jan. 12, winning the last four games in their six-game winning streak by double-digit margins. That included going for 113 points in Tuesday’s win against rival North Carolina State, which was UNC’s best output in a league game in more than 15 years. Things were bumpy for much of Saturday, though the Tar Heels now have their first 9-1 start in ACC play in 16 seasons under Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams.