ND
UNC

No Text

No. 14 North Carolina pulls away late, tops Notre Dame 83-66

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) North Carolina beat its two biggest rivals, then pulled away late to beat Notre Dame to cap a demanding stretch.

The 14th-ranked Tar Heels are tired. They also might have found a groove.

Theo Pinson scored 14 of his 16 points after halftime to go with 10 rebounds, helping UNC pull away late to beat Notre Dame 83-66 on Monday night for its third win in five days.

Things certainly look different from 10 days ago for the Tar Heels (20-7, 9-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), who were coming off their first three-game losing streak in four years and a win against a winless-in-the-ACC Pittsburgh team before the stretch. But they beat Duke at home on Thursday then won Saturday at North Carolina State in a pair of emotional rivalry games.

This time, UNC needed a 13-0 burst in the final 5 1/2 minutes to finally get some separation against a team that just kept hanging around.

''You could tell we were out there and had a rhythm,'' Pinson said. ''But at the same time, it's still tough recovering so fast, going from game to game. You want to celebrate one win and be like, `Dang, that was a good win for us,' but you've got to get ready for the next game.

''It was a big-time stretch for us.''

Martinas Geben and John Mooney each scored 18 points for the Fighting Irish (15-11, 5-8), with Mooney going 6 of 6 from 3-point range. But UNC - which shot 57 percent - later used its clinching run to turn a 67-63 margin into a 17-point bulge near the 2-minute mark.

It didn't help the Irish that point guard Matt Farrell struggled; he scored nine points on 3-for-18 shooting, including 1 for 12 from 3-point range.

''I loved how we fought,'' Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said, ''but they had about a three-minute stretch where they were unbelievable offensively. And we certainly couldn't absorb that.''

BIG PICTURE

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish have been just trying to stay afloat with preseason Associated Press All-American Bonzie Colson sidelined with a broken foot since late December. They had lost seven straight, but they had two high-scoring wins as Farrell returned to health from an ankle problem. Colson has another two weeks in his projected recovery time, which could have him back for the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn.

''If we can keep (the final schedule) around .500, if we can get to eight league wins and be 8-10, that's as good as it gets,'' Brey said. ''And maybe we get Bonz back here ... and we go to Brooklyn with him healthy and see if we can play our way in (to the NCAA Tournament). That's our lot in life. We're very realistic about who we are.''

UNC: The Tar Heels have played compact schedules in the ACC Tournament or in the PK80 Invitational earlier this season, but this was the first time they were playing three regular-season league games in a five-day span since February 1991. Simply put, they can take a breath and regroup.

QUIET NIGHT

UNC's top scorer Luke Maye struggled to just eight points on 3-for-11 shooting after going for 33 points - 27 after halftime - and 17 rebounds at N.C. State.

''He's played a lot of minutes, a lot of basketball, beaten up himself with a lot of guys,'' coach Roy Williams said. ''If I had to say one guy that needs a rest more than anybody, I'd probably say Luke.''

TOOTH TROUBLE

Sounds like Berry was nearly a late addition to the injury report - with a tooth problem, of all things.

Berry said he developed a toothache developed in the afternoon, gave him a headache and ultimately sent him to the dentist for medication. He finished 8 of 15 from the floor while helping defend Farrell in his 33 minutes.

''I honestly think it's my wisdom teeth,'' the senior said. ''I haven't gotten them out yet, so I think it's about time to get them out.''

UP NEXT

Notre Dame: The Irish visit Boston College on Saturday.

UNC: The Tar Heels visit Louisville on Saturday.

---

More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25

---

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
M. Farrell
5 G
L. Maye
32 F
32.5 Min. Per Game 32.5
18.7 Pts. Per Game 18.7
2.4 Ast. Per Game 2.4
10.5 Reb. Per Game 10.5
42.2 Field Goal % 51.7
38.0 Three Point % 46.4
77.2 Free Throw % 63.0
  Defensive rebound by Elijah Burns 0.0
  Brandon Huffman missed 2nd of 2 free throws 0.0
+ 1 Brandon Huffman made 1st of 2 free throws 0.0
  Shooting foul on Elijah Burns 0.0
  Offensive rebound by Brandon Huffman 1.0
  Shea Rush missed jump shot 3.0
  Defensive rebound by Aaron Rohlman 3.0
  Matt Gregory missed jump shot 3.0
  Offensive rebound by Matt Gregory 31.0
  Matt Gregory missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Shea Rush 31.0
+ 2 Brandon Huffman made turnaround jump shot, assist by Aaron Rohlman 49.0
Team Stats
Points 66 83
Field Goals 22-58 (37.9%) 32-60 (53.3%)
3-Pointers 10-27 (37.0%) 6-16 (37.5%)
Free Throws 12-23 (52.2%) 13-20 (65.0%)
Total Rebounds 29 42
Offensive 8 10
Defensive 17 28
Team 4 4
Assists 17 19
Steals 4 2
Blocks 1 5
Turnovers 6 6
Fouls 16 15
Technicals 0 0
18 PTS, 7 REB
21 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo Notre Dame 15-11 343266
home team logo 14 North Carolina 20-7 384583
Team Stats
away team logo Notre Dame 15-11 74.9 PPG 39.1 RPG 14.4 APG
home team logo 14 North Carolina 20-7 81.6 PPG 45.8 RPG 18.2 APG
Key Players
33
J. Mooney F 5.6 PPG 3.9 RPG 0.5 APG 48.0 FG%
2
J. Berry II G 17.1 PPG 3.5 RPG 3.2 APG 39.6 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Mooney F 18 PTS 6 REB 0 AST
J. Berry II G 21 PTS 3 REB 1 AST
37.9 FG% 53.3
37.0 3PT FG% 37.5
52.2 FT% 65.0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
M. Geben 17 18 7 0 1 1 2 2 8/9 0/0 2/2 3 4
T. Gibbs 38 10 3 3 0 0 2 4 1/9 1/3 7/9 3 0
M. Farrell 37 9 1 9 1 0 0 2 3/18 1/12 2/3 0 1
R. Pflueger 36 3 1 4 1 0 2 0 1/7 1/4 0/0 0 1
A. Torres 13 2 4 0 0 0 0 3 1/2 0/0 0/2 1 3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
M. Geben 17 18 7 0 1 1 2 2 8/9 0/0 2/2 3 4
T. Gibbs 38 10 3 3 0 0 2 4 1/9 1/3 7/9 3 0
M. Farrell 37 9 1 9 1 0 0 2 3/18 1/12 2/3 0 1
R. Pflueger 36 3 1 4 1 0 2 0 1/7 1/4 0/0 0 1
A. Torres 13 2 4 0 0 0 0 3 1/2 0/0 0/2 1 3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Mooney 32 18 6 0 1 0 0 4 6/8 6/6 0/3 0 6
E. Burns 15 3 2 0 0 0 0 1 1/2 0/0 1/2 0 2
N. Djogo 10 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 1/1 1/1 0/2 0 0
M. Gregory 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 1 0
L. Nelligan 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
B. Colson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Harvey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 66 25 17 4 1 6 16 22/58 10/27 12/23 8 17
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Berry II 33 21 3 1 0 1 1 0 8/15 2/5 3/3 0 3
T. Pinson 31 16 10 5 0 0 2 3 6/10 0/0 4/5 3 7
K. Williams 31 14 5 4 2 1 1 2 5/7 3/5 1/4 1 4
C. Johnson 34 13 3 3 0 0 1 2 6/10 1/3 0/0 2 1
L. Maye 30 8 8 4 0 2 1 3 3/11 0/2 2/2 2 6
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Berry II 33 21 3 1 0 1 1 0 8/15 2/5 3/3 0 3
T. Pinson 31 16 10 5 0 0 2 3 6/10 0/0 4/5 3 7
K. Williams 31 14 5 4 2 1 1 2 5/7 3/5 1/4 1 4
C. Johnson 34 13 3 3 0 0 1 2 6/10 1/3 0/0 2 1
L. Maye 30 8 8 4 0 2 1 3 3/11 0/2 2/2 2 6
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
S. Manley 7 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 1/1 0/0 2/4 0 3
B. Huffman 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1/1 0/0 1/2 1 0
B. Robinson 9 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 1
A. Platek 7 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 0 2
S. Rush 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 0
S. Woods 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
A. Rohlman 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1
G. Brooks 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 0
W. Miller 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
K. Ma 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
J. Felton - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 83 38 19 2 5 6 15 32/60 6/16 13/20 10 28