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UNC 87, Arkansas 68: Luke Maye turns first half double-double into a new career high

The Tar Heels advance to the PK80 championship game.

North Carolina v Arkansas Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

There was no revenge to be had for Arkansas on Friday, as the Tar Heels were able to get the best of the Razorbacks again in the PK80 tournament. UNC was led by Luke Maye’s career-high 28 points after posting a double-double before halftime.

Maye was 4-5 from behind the arc, closely followed by Kenny Williams’ three baskets from long distance. Carolina actually got off to a very sloppy start that they were able to overcome once Maye properly heated up. Williams was second on the team with 19 points, and Joel Berry II followed with 13 of his own.

There were two instances in the game, one quite late, where UNC had a sizable lead that they let Arkansas cut into. The Razorbacks cut the Heels’ lead to just six in the final minutes before UNC went on an 11-0 run of their own to put the final score back to a comfortable distance.

Everything wasn’t clean, however. UNC turned the ball over 14 times with five of those coming from Maye and another five from Theo Pinson. It ended up not mattering today, but that level of sloppiness will not work against better competition. That’s really the one point of contention in an otherwise solid game for UNC.

On the boards, Maye was everywhere. He tallied 16 rebounds to easily lead the team. Williams was second with eight, and Brandon Robinson had a sneaky six boards off the bench.

Carolina shot 49% from the field and 50% from three on their way to the win. Although Arkansas also shot 50% from long range, Carolina held them to 37% shooting from the field. Daryl Macon had gone off from three in Arkansas’ win over Oklahoma, but it was his teammates who were highly successful beyond the arc today. The Razorbacks actually made one more three than UNC did, but it didn’t matter.

Credit goes to the Heels for being able to sustain two big Arkansas runs at this early point in the season. That’s the kind of stuff that makes Roy Williams’ teams so successful in March and beyond, and being able to show that ability now can’t really be overstated.

Maye’s contribution early this season has also been incredible. He has been a complete force in nearly every game the Heels have played to this point in the season, further proving that this team has so many weapons that can beat you. It’s definitely a pick your poison for opposing teams and that makes the Heels a very tough team.

UNC will be back in action for the championship game on Sunday evening.