DAVID
UNC

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No. 7 North Carolina holds off Davidson 83-74

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) Justin Jackson buried shot after shot from behind the arc in the best performance of his career for No. 7 North Carolina. Coach Roy Williams didn't have much to feel good about otherwise.

Jackson matched his career high with 27 points and hit a career-best seven 3-pointers to help the Tar Heels beat Davidson 83-74 on Wednesday night, though they struggled both to slow down high-scoring Wildcats guard Jack Gibbs and find much of a rhythm with top point guard Joel Berry II sidelined by a sprained left ankle.

''Well it's been a lot of fun watching this basketball team at certain times this year,'' Williams said. ''It was not fun tonight.''

The Tar Heels (9-1) didn't get in any kind of groove offensively, with the 6-foot-8 Jackson largely carrying the offense on a night when they got little production from the front line. He had shot 30 percent from 3-point range through his first two seasons and was up to 35 percent coming in before matching his previous high of four 3s by halftime.

''Confidence and stepping into it - I think that's all it was,'' Jackson said. ''I knew I had to step up more but then whenever I got my shots, I just stepped into it like it was another shot.''

But UNC shot just 38 percent, while only Isaiah Hicks (13 points) and reserve Luke Maye (career-high 10 points, all before halftime) reached double figures.

Gibbs - ranked seventh nationally by averaging 23.3 points - finished with 30 points for the Wildcats (5-3), who trailed by 16 midway through the second half before making a late push to get within three in the final 2 minutes.

But Kennedy Meeks answered with two free throws, then Hicks followed with two more after getting a big rebound in traffic with 52 seconds left to help UNC hang on.

''They made some good plays, they got some key rebounds,'' Gibbs said of the final minutes. ''They've got athletes and sometimes it's tough to get those rebounds. Down the stretch, they made the plays and we didn't.''

BIG PICTURE

Davidson: Gibbs is the kind of scorer that can scare any opponent when he gets hot, while Peyton Aldridge (22 points) provides his own matchup troubles. And with a veteran coach like Bob McKillop, this is the kind of team that scares big-name teams come tournament time.

''I loved the way they fought,'' McKillop said.

UNC: The Tar Heels got a glimpse of life without arguably their top player in Berry. Nate Britt got the start and had six assists but missed all eight of his shots, while Seventh Woods and Stilman White (career-high six points) saw plenty of minutes at the point. But the Tar Heels missed Berry's finish-through-contact toughness, leadership and scoring ability.

DEFENSIVE HELP

Gibbs and Aldridge combined to make 17 of 35 shots, with Gibbs hitting five 3-pointers.

''As teammates, we `ve got to do a better job of helping off and helping out on players like Gibbs,'' Meeks said. ''Like (Williams) probably said in the press conference, either we're going to be a mediocre team or we're going to be a good team. We've got to decide before it's too late.''

CONFETTI?

The game was 5 seconds old when there was a brief stoppage due to falling confetti-like material fluttering to the court from the rafters of the Smith Center. Arena staffers swept it up and the game resumed within a minute or two.

Team spokesman Matt Bowers said at halftime it was believed to be pieces of a padding used to absorb leaks near the ceiling.

UP NEXT

Davidson: The Wildcats get a 10-day break before playing their fifth power-conference opponent this year, facing No. 3 Kansas on Dec. 17 in Kansas City, Missouri.

UNC: The Tar Heels begin a two-game set with Southeastern Conference opponents, first by hosting Tennessee on Sunday before facing No. 6 Kentucky on Dec. 17 in Las Vegas.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Offensive rebound by Isaiah Hicks 17.0
  Nate Britt missed 2nd of 2 free throws 17.0
+ 1 Nate Britt made 1st of 2 free throws 17.0
  Personal foul on Jordan Watkins 17.0
+ 1 Jack Gibbs made 2nd of 2 free throws 19.0
  Jack Gibbs missed 1st of 2 free throws 19.0
  Personal foul on Kenny Williams 19.0
+ 1 Kenny Williams made 2nd of 2 free throws 20.0
  Kenny Williams missed 1st of 2 free throws 20.0
  Personal foul on Jack Gibbs 20.0
  Offensive foul turnover on Jon Axel Gudmundsson 22.0
Team Stats
Points 74 83
Field Goals 24-59 (40.7%) 23-61 (37.7%)
3-Pointers 8-29 (27.6%) 10-24 (41.7%)
Free Throws 18-21 (85.7%) 27-34 (79.4%)
Total Rebounds 33 43
Offensive 7 13
Defensive 20 25
Team 6 5
Assists 10 18
Steals 4 10
Blocks 3 3
Turnovers 17 15
Fouls 25 19
Technicals 0 0
30 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
27 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo Davidson 5-3 324274
home team logo 7 North Carolina 9-1 424183
Team Stats
away team logo Davidson 5-3 71.3 PPG 37.7 RPG 14.6 APG
home team logo 7 North Carolina 9-1 87.2 PPG 45.3 RPG 19.6 APG
Key Players
00
J. Gibbs G PPG RPG APG FG%
00
J. Jackson F PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
J. Gibbs G 30 PTS 5 REB 3 AST
J. Jackson F 27 PTS 8 REB 1 AST
40.7 FG% 37.7
27.6 3PT FG% 41.7
85.7 FT% 79.4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Gibbs 30 5 3 9/20 5/10 7/10 3 38 1 0 3 2 3
P. Aldridge 22 2 1 8/15 1/6 5/5 3 24 0 0 3 0 2
J. Gudmundsson 10 6 3 3/7 2/4 2/2 4 30 3 0 3 2 4
W. Magarity 8 5 1 3/6 0/2 2/2 3 26 0 3 3 1 4
R. Reigel 2 5 0 0/2 0/2 2/2 3 35 0 0 3 1 4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Gibbs 30 5 3 9/20 5/10 7/10 3 38 1 0 3 2 3
P. Aldridge 22 2 1 8/15 1/6 5/5 3 24 0 0 3 0 2
J. Gudmundsson 10 6 3 3/7 2/4 2/2 4 30 3 0 3 2 4
W. Magarity 8 5 1 3/6 0/2 2/2 3 26 0 3 3 1 4
R. Reigel 2 5 0 0/2 0/2 2/2 3 35 0 0 3 1 4
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Kovacevic 2 2 1 1/4 0/3 0/0 2 18 0 0 2 0 2
A. McAuliffe 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 5 0 0 0 0 0
N. Ekwu 0 1 1 0/1 0/0 0/0 4 6 0 0 0 1 0
O. Michelsen 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
J. Watkins 0 1 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 1 10 0 0 0 0 1
K. Pritchett 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 1 7 0 0 0 0 0
C. Perkey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Giamoukis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Faines - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Freundlich - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Wynter - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 74 27 10 24/59 8/29 18/21 25 200 4 3 17 7 20
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Jackson 27 8 1 9/19 7/13 2/2 3 31 0 0 3 0 8
I. Hicks 13 3 0 4/7 0/0 5/6 4 17 0 0 0 2 1
K. Meeks 9 7 2 2/7 0/0 5/6 1 28 1 1 3 3 4
K. Williams 6 2 3 2/4 1/3 1/2 4 25 1 1 3 1 1
N. Britt 2 3 6 0/8 0/3 2/4 2 31 0 0 3 1 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Jackson 27 8 1 9/19 7/13 2/2 3 31 0 0 3 0 8
I. Hicks 13 3 0 4/7 0/0 5/6 4 17 0 0 0 2 1
K. Meeks 9 7 2 2/7 0/0 5/6 1 28 1 1 3 3 4
K. Williams 6 2 3 2/4 1/3 1/2 4 25 1 1 3 1 1
N. Britt 2 3 6 0/8 0/3 2/4 2 31 0 0 3 1 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Maye 10 6 1 4/7 1/2 1/2 4 16 3 0 2 2 4
S. White 6 0 1 0/2 0/1 6/6 0 15 0 0 0 0 0
S. Woods 4 3 2 1/3 0/1 2/2 0 11 2 0 1 2 1
T. Bradley 3 4 1 0/3 0/0 3/4 0 12 1 1 0 2 2
B. Robinson 3 2 1 1/1 1/1 0/0 1 14 2 0 0 0 2
J. Berry II - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Pinson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Coker - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Rush - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Rohlman - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 83 38 18 23/61 10/24 27/34 19 200 10 3 15 13 25