UNC
TENN

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No. 7 Tar Heels rally to beat No. 20 Vols 78-73

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) North Carolina passed the kind of road challenge it wanted to face before starting Atlantic Coast Conference competition.

Kenny Williams sank a go-ahead 3-pointer with 35 seconds left as the seventh-ranked Tar Heels rallied past No. 20 Tennessee 78-73 Sunday.

This was the first game North Carolina (10-1) played all season that was decided by a single-digit margin. Even its lone loss of the season was a 63-45 blowout against No. 2 Michigan State.

''This will be good for us,'' Williams said. ''Every game in the ACC is like that. To have this experience and know we can pull it out, I think it will come in handy down the road.''

North Carolina capitalized on a 9-0 run in the final minute to win for the fifth straight time and ended Thompson-Boling Arena's hex on defending national champions.

Tennessee (7-2) had won each of the last five times it had hosted a defending national champion, a string that included victories over Connecticut (in January 2012), Florida (February 2007 and February 2008) and Kentucky (February 1999 and February 2013).

''We always say we need a game like this to help us later on down the road,'' said North Carolina's Joel Berry II, who scored 21 points. ''We hadn't had a game like this. For us to be able to thrive in this situation and be able to get the momentum back on our side was a great thing. It was all about the defensive end. We got stops.''

Luke Maye and Williams added 15 points each for North Carolina. Grant Williams scored 15 points to lead five Tennessee players in double figures.

Tennessee led by as many as nine points in the second half and was ahead 70-67 before North Carolina took control down the stretch.

North Carolina began its rally when Berry hit two free throws with a minute left to make it 70-69. Maye then stole an errant pass from Lamonte Turner to set up the shot by Williams, whose 3-pointer off Theo Pinson's assist put North Carolina ahead 72-70.

After Tennessee's Admiral Schofield missed with 18 seconds left, Pinson hit two free throws, made a steal and added two more foul shots to make it 76-70.

Tennessee cut the margin to 76-73 on Jordan Bowden's 3-pointer with seven seconds left, but Berry sank two free throws to seal the victory.

The Vols said afterward they could learn from this kind of loss.

''We get many opportunities during the year,'' Grant Williams said. ''This one won't define us.''

North Carolina is hoping this rally helps define the way it plays the rest of the year. Berry said Pinson reminded the Tar Heels these are the types of games they'll have much more often once conference play begins.

''(We're) getting our guys to realize that the game might not be pretty, you might not hit shots but the one thing you can do is defend, get offensive rebounds, get defensive rebounds,'' Berry said. ''Sometimes you've got to squeak out a game like that. Some of our guys that are young grew up today and understand that every game is going to be like this from now on.''

BIG PICTURE

North Carolina: The Tar Heels rallied because they turned up their defensive intensity and took better care of the ball in the second half. After committing 12 turnovers in the first half, North Carolina had just four more the rest of the way.

Tennessee: The Vols showed they can compete with anyone, but their offense wouldn't allow them to win this game. After making four of its first five shots in the second half, Tennessee went 7 of 31 the rest of the way. Tennessee made three baskets in the final 10 minutes, 25 seconds.

FAMILIAR FINISH

This marked the second straight year North Carolina rallied to beat Tennessee. The Vols squandered a 15-point lead in a 73-71 loss at North Carolina last season. Berry didn't play in that game due to a sprained left ankle.

RANKED VS. RANKED

This game represented the first time two ranked teams met at Thompson-Boling Arena since Feb. 27, 2010, when No. 19 Tennessee won 74-65 over a second-ranked Kentucky team that featured John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe.

NEXT UP

North Carolina hosts Wofford on Wednesday.

Tennessee hosts Furman on Wednesday.

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Key Players
L. Maye
32 F
G. Williams
2 F
27.2 Min. Per Game 27.2
16.2 Pts. Per Game 16.2
2.7 Ast. Per Game 2.7
8.2 Reb. Per Game 8.2
56.5 Field Goal % 46.1
48.3 Three Point % 18.2
56.5 Free Throw % 73.7
  James Daniel III missed 3-pt. jump shot 1.0
+ 1 Joel Berry II made 2nd of 2 free throws 4.0
+ 1 Joel Berry II made 1st of 2 free throws 4.0
  Personal foul on Admiral Schofield 4.0
+ 3 Jordan Bowden made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Daniel III 6.0
+ 1 Theo Pinson made 2nd of 2 free throws 11.0
+ 1 Theo Pinson made 1st of 2 free throws 12.0
  Personal foul on Grant Williams 12.0
  Bad pass turnover on Grant Williams, stolen by Theo Pinson 12.0
+ 1 Theo Pinson made 2nd of 2 free throws 16.0
+ 1 Theo Pinson made 1st of 2 free throws 16.0
Team Stats
Points 78 73
Field Goals 29-67 (43.3%) 25-67 (37.3%)
3-Pointers 6-17 (35.3%) 9-25 (36.0%)
Free Throws 14-19 (73.7%) 14-17 (82.4%)
Total Rebounds 44 39
Offensive 17 16
Defensive 25 18
Team 2 5
Assists 17 11
Steals 4 6
Blocks 2 6
Turnovers 16 10
Fouls 16 23
Technicals 0 0
21 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST
15 PTS, 4 REB
12T
away team logo 7 North Carolina 10-1 324678
home team logo 20 Tennessee 7-2 383573
Team Stats
away team logo 7 North Carolina 10-1 85.8 PPG 47.1 RPG 18.8 APG
home team logo 20 Tennessee 7-2 82.0 PPG 40.4 RPG 17.9 APG
Key Players
00
J. Berry II G PPG RPG APG FG%
00
G. Williams F PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
J. Berry II G 21 PTS 4 REB 2 AST
G. Williams F 15 PTS 4 REB 0 AST
43.3 FG% 37.3
35.3 3PT FG% 36.0
73.7 FT% 82.4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Berry II 21 4 2 7/19 3/9 4/4 3 28 1 0 3 1 3
L. Maye 15 8 0 7/14 1/2 0/1 3 29 1 0 3 3 5
K. Williams 15 2 1 6/11 2/4 1/2 0 35 0 0 1 2 0
G. Brooks 9 8 1 3/6 0/0 3/3 0 19 0 0 0 5 3
T. Pinson 7 9 8 1/5 0/1 5/5 1 35 2 0 2 1 8
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Berry II 21 4 2 7/19 3/9 4/4 3 28 1 0 3 1 3
L. Maye 15 8 0 7/14 1/2 0/1 3 29 1 0 3 3 5
K. Williams 15 2 1 6/11 2/4 1/2 0 35 0 0 1 2 0
G. Brooks 9 8 1 3/6 0/0 3/3 0 19 0 0 0 5 3
T. Pinson 7 9 8 1/5 0/1 5/5 1 35 2 0 2 1 8
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Manley 10 8 1 5/8 0/0 0/2 3 19 0 1 1 4 4
B. Robinson 1 2 1 0/0 0/0 1/2 3 11 0 1 2 0 2
J. Felton 0 1 2 0/2 0/0 0/0 1 12 0 0 3 1 0
B. Huffman 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 3 0 0 0 0 0
A. Platek 0 0 1 0/2 0/1 0/0 1 9 0 0 1 0 0
C. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Rush - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Woods - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Rohlman - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Miller - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 78 42 17 29/67 6/17 14/19 16 200 4 2 16 17 25
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
G. Williams 15 4 0 7/15 0/0 1/2 4 26 1 2 2 1 3
J. Bowden 12 3 1 3/7 2/3 4/4 4 27 2 0 0 1 2
A. Schofield 10 2 0 3/13 2/6 2/2 4 26 0 0 3 1 1
J. Bone 10 4 4 4/9 0/3 2/2 0 26 1 0 2 3 1
K. Alexander 5 4 0 2/3 0/0 1/2 2 19 0 3 0 3 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
G. Williams 15 4 0 7/15 0/0 1/2 4 26 1 2 2 1 3
J. Bowden 12 3 1 3/7 2/3 4/4 4 27 2 0 0 1 2
A. Schofield 10 2 0 3/13 2/6 2/2 4 26 0 0 3 1 1
J. Bone 10 4 4 4/9 0/3 2/2 0 26 1 0 2 3 1
K. Alexander 5 4 0 2/3 0/0 1/2 2 19 0 3 0 3 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Daniel III 14 2 3 4/6 4/6 2/2 4 20 0 0 0 0 2
C. Darrington 3 0 1 1/4 1/2 0/0 1 12 0 0 1 0 0
L. Turner 2 9 1 1/8 0/5 0/1 0 24 0 0 2 2 7
J. Fulkerson 2 4 1 0/2 0/0 2/2 4 14 2 1 0 4 0
D. Walker Jr. 0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 6 0 0 0 1 1
B. Woodson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Campbell - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Fleschman - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Kent - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Y. Pons - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 73 34 11 25/67 9/25 14/17 23 200 6 6 10 16 18