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November 23, 2013

Career Highs defeat Richmond

Coming off its first loss of the season last weekend against Belmont, North Carolina traveled to Connecticut to play in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off this weekend, with a potential match up against defending champion Louisville possibly on the line Sunday afternoon.

But first things first, the Tar Heels came up against a pesky Richmond Spiders team that presented some of the same issues that Belmont had, as they certainly had capable shooters that could hurt UNC.

The Spiders led UNC for most of the first half before the Tar Heels rallied to take a three-point halftime lead, and ultimately hang on for an 82-72 victory, improving North Carolina's overall record to 3-1.

Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson each had career highs, as Paige led the way for the Tar Heels with 26 points, which came on six-of-13 shooting and included a whopping six three-pointers.

Johnson added 24 in UNC's winning effort, converting eight of 12 field goals and adding a game-high 12 rebounds. Johnson has now scored in double figures in all four games this season.

The The Spiders jumped out to an early nine point lead at the 14:09 mark, leading the Tar Heels 17-8. But the Tar Heels battled back all throughout the first half, finally taking the lead with 38 seconds left in the half and taking a 36-33 advantage into the locker rooms.

The Tar Heels came out in the second half looking to expand their advantage, but time and time again the Spiders rallied to tie it.

But Paige, emerging more and more as one of UNC's top offensive weapons, stepped up on two different occasions to drain threes, as the Tar Heels never fell back behind Richmond in the second half.

Paige also made 8-of-9 from the free throw line, as UNC shot significantly better from the charity stripe in making 26 of 37 free throws (70.3 percent) after making just 22 of 48 free throw attempts in the loss last Sunday to Belmont.

The Tar Heels shot 46.3 percent from the floor while holding Richmond to just 7-of-22 from behind the arc, hitting only 31 percent.

North Carolina did a great job on the rebounding side of the ball, as they were able to grab 14 offensive rebounds, with McAdoo grabbing three of those. On the day they out-rebounded Richmond, 36-31.

Also, the Tar Heels limited their turnovers to only 12 on the afternoon.

For Richmond, Cedrick Lindsay led all scorers with 29 points, while Kendall Anthony was the only other Spider to hit double digits with 13 points.

The Spiders shot 44.9 percent from the floor and were able to get to the line, especially late in the game when North Carolina made a few questionable fouls.

The Spiders finished 21-of-29 from the line but turned the ball over 17 times and had four different players with four or more fouls in the game, though Terry Allen was the only Spider to foul out.

The Tar Heels now draw defending national champion Louisville, who defeated Fairfield following UNC's win over Richmond to set up a showdown between the two traditional hoops powerhouses.

UNC and the Cardinals will tip off at approximately 1:00 pm Sunday afternoon from Mohegan Sun Arena.


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