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UNC 96 Miami 71

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Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Hangover? What hangover? UNC laid wood to Miami on the way to a 96-71 win that was even that close.

UNC answered any concern about a hangover or a team headed for a tailspin with a complete game. Both Joel Berry and Marcus Paige hit early jumpers while Brice Johnson continued to play at a high level versus a physical Miami frontline. However the big spark came from Theo Pinson off the bench.  The sophomore guard was making all the hustle plays and even knocked down a three on his way to eight first half points. UNC eventually ran the lead to as much as eight before Miami cut it to five on a Sheldon McClellan three.

Unlike Wednesday night when UNC failed to push the lead out, the Tar Heels exploded for seven straight points for a 12 point margin capped off by a Justin Jackson three pointer. The Tar Heel lead was nine at the break with Jackson leading the team with nine points followed by Brice Johnson and Theo Pinson scoring eight each.

The question coming out of hafltime is whether UNC would drop the hammer. The answer was a resounding yes. Isaiah Hicks hit a pair of shots in the paint and Joel Berry dropped in two threes for a 10-0 burst to put the Tar Heels ahead by 19 early in the half. Following a Miami free throw, UNC's next two baskets were threes from Jackson and Nate Britt to put the Tar Heels up 23 with 15:13 left.

From there the lead kept growing and growing while UNC's offensive efficiency kept climbing reaching the mid-150s about midway through the second half. It was also a total team effort as multiple Tar Heels hit shots. When the lead reached 20, six different Tar Heels scored the next 13 points. The Tar Heels did whatever they wanted offensive in thoroughly destroying the Hurricanes in every phase of the game.

UNC finished the game with six players in double figures led by Justin Jackson with 15 points and eight assists. Jackson's three 3-pointers was a season high and the first such game since going 3-3 in the Sweet Sixteen loss to Wisconsin. Brice Johnson recorded a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Isaiah Hicks added 12 points with Joel Berry, Theo Pinson and Nate Britt scoring 10 each.

The Tar Heels reclaim sole possession of first place in the ACC at 11-3 in the league and move to 22-5 overall.

Correction: Due to errors with the official stats, some of the ones previously published were incorrect. They have been updated.