UNC
LVILLE

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No. 9 Tar Heels avenge loss, topping No. 15 Louisville 79-69

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) This time around, No. 9 North Carolina returned to form against No. 15 Louisville.

The Tar Heels controlled rebounding, the inside and just about everything else Saturday to show how far they have come since their previous meeting with the Cardinals.

Luke Maye had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Cameron Johnson finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, helping North Carolina avenge a blowout loss with a 79-69 victory over Louisville.

''The biggest thing for us was to come out early and be ready to go,'' Maye said. ''We didn't do that last time and I thought we did that today.''

The victory came three weeks after UNC was beaten by 21 points by Louisville, its worst defeat at home under coach Roy Williams.

The Tar Heels (17-4, 7-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) won the rematch and ended Louisville's six-game winning streak. They set the tone with a 22-4 first-half run over 8:34 that put them up 34-19 and gave them a lead they never lost against one of the league's co-leaders.

Johnson and Maye had 12 points apiece in the first half before Garrison Brooks (12 points) and Kenny Williams (10 points) contributed after halftime. UNC dominated the boards 49-32 in its fifth consecutive victory.

''That was really big,'' Roy Williams said. ''Four guys in double figures, you like that. Two turnovers the second half, and the rebound margin is probably the game.''

The Cardinals (16-6, 7-2) cut a 19-point deficit to 58-49 midway through the second half but came no closer. Dwayne Sutton had 19 points and Christen Cunningham 15 with nine assists for Louisville.

The Cardinals' loss came three days after a 28-point victory at Wake Forest that they had hoped to follow by sweeping the Tar Heels. Instead, they and the crowd were left wondering what happened after their second home loss this season. Louisville lost to Kentucky 71-58 on Dec. 29

''We didn't come out with much fire,'' Louisville coach Chris Mack said. ''It was a great environment, and to essentially end the half with no offensive rebounds, let Carolina dismantle us on the glass, I can't tell you how disappointed I am in that effort alone.''

BOUNCING BACK

Saturday's victory was the first time the Tar Heels beat a team by 10 or more points on its home floor after losing to it by at least 20 at home.

ALI'S PRESENCE

As might be expected in Muhammad Ali's hometown, the game featured video clips and sound bites from the late heavyweight great. Several preceded Louisville player introductions, with others played during timeouts in an attempt to inspire the Cardinals and a crowd of 19,985.

Rings of the bell briefly produced some energy, mostly by the Tar Heels.

''I liked it,'' Maye said. ''It didn't turn out the way they wanted it, but it's a cool way to come out.''

Said Cunningham: ''We just got bullied. They pushed us off the line. They made us run our offense 35, 40 feet. We just didn't answer the bell.''

POLL IMPLICATIONS

North Carolina is likely to move up a spot with the decisive win. Louisville will likely fall a few spots.

BIG PICTURE

North Carolina: The Tar Heels had their way in nearly every key statistic. They used their size to outrebound Louisville 18-7 offensively, which led to an 18-3 domination in second-chance points. The paint was all theirs as well (38-26).

Louisville: This wasn't how the Cardinals hoped to begin a brutal February against four consecutive ranked opponents. They missed 10 of 11 shots during one stretch in the first half and dug a double-digit hole. They were no match for the Heels inside.

UP NEXT

North Carolina hosts No. 23 N.C. State on Tuesday, seeking a season sweep after winning last month's previous meeting 90-82.

Louisville visits No. 12 Virginia Tech on Monday night.

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Key Players
L. Maye
32 F
J. Nwora
33 F
31.0 Min. Per Game 31.0
18.2 Pts. Per Game 18.2
1.6 Ast. Per Game 1.6
7.8 Reb. Per Game 7.8
42.3 Field Goal % 47.9
33.3 Three Point % 40.2
76.5 Free Throw % 73.7
+ 3 Darius Perry made 3-pt. jump shot 15.0
  Defensive rebound by Darius Perry 21.0
  Kenny Williams missed 3-pt. jump shot 21.0
  Offensive rebound by North Carolina 22.0
  Coby White missed layup, blocked by Dwayne Sutton 24.0
  Defensive rebound by Cameron Johnson 49.0
  Christen Cunningham missed 3-pt. jump shot 51.0
+ 1 Cameron Johnson made 2nd of 2 free throws 53.0
+ 1 Cameron Johnson made 1st of 2 free throws 57.0
  Personal foul on Ryan McMahon 57.0
+ 2 Christen Cunningham made layup 57.0
Team Stats
Points 79 69
Field Goals 29-69 (42.0%) 26-62 (41.9%)
3-Pointers 6-24 (25.0%) 10-29 (34.5%)
Free Throws 15-19 (78.9%) 7-9 (77.8%)
Total Rebounds 49 32
Offensive 16 7
Defensive 31 24
Team 2 1
Assists 16 14
Steals 7 4
Blocks 3 3
Turnovers 10 11
Fouls 15 16
Technicals 0 0
20 PTS, 11 REB, 2 AST
19 PTS, 8 REB
12T
away team logo 9 North Carolina 17-4 443579
home team logo 15 Louisville 16-6 284169
Team Stats
away team logo 9 North Carolina 17-4 85.8 PPG 47.1 RPG 18.8 APG
home team logo 15 Louisville 16-6 74.6 PPG 40.5 RPG 13.5 APG
Key Players
32
L. Maye F 14.9 PPG 10.5 RPG 2.3 APG 43.0 FG%
24
D. Sutton F 10.0 PPG 6.9 RPG 1.9 APG 43.1 FG%
Top Scorers
L. Maye F 20 PTS 11 REB 2 AST
D. Sutton F 19 PTS 8 REB 0 AST
42.0 FG% 41.9
25.0 3PT FG% 34.5
78.9 FT% 77.8
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Maye 20 11 2 7/18 1/4 5/7 3 32 1 0 2 5 6
C. Johnson 19 10 1 5/9 3/6 6/6 4 29 0 0 2 2 8
G. Brooks 12 4 0 6/9 0/0 0/1 3 24 1 0 0 2 2
K. Williams 10 5 1 3/9 2/7 2/2 1 36 3 0 2 1 4
C. White 8 4 4 3/14 0/6 2/3 1 30 0 1 2 2 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Maye 20 11 2 7/18 1/4 5/7 3 32 1 0 2 5 6
C. Johnson 19 10 1 5/9 3/6 6/6 4 29 0 0 2 2 8
G. Brooks 12 4 0 6/9 0/0 0/1 3 24 1 0 0 2 2
K. Williams 10 5 1 3/9 2/7 2/2 1 36 3 0 2 1 4
C. White 8 4 4 3/14 0/6 2/3 1 30 0 1 2 2 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Little 4 6 1 2/6 0/0 0/0 2 16 1 1 1 3 3
B. Robinson 2 4 3 1/2 0/1 0/0 1 19 0 1 1 1 3
S. Woods 2 2 4 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 10 1 0 0 0 2
B. Huffman 2 1 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 4 0 0 0 0 1
S. Rush - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. McAdoo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Manley - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Miller - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Platek - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Ellis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Black - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 79 47 16 29/69 6/24 15/19 15 200 7 3 10 16 31
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Sutton 19 8 0 7/12 4/8 1/2 1 38 2 2 2 3 5
C. Cunningham 15 4 9 7/14 0/4 1/2 0 37 1 0 1 1 3
J. Nwora 11 7 2 3/9 3/6 2/2 4 33 0 0 3 0 7
M. Williams 9 4 0 4/10 1/4 0/0 2 21 0 1 0 2 2
K. Fore 2 2 1 1/5 0/1 0/0 0 14 0 0 2 1 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Sutton 19 8 0 7/12 4/8 1/2 1 38 2 2 2 3 5
C. Cunningham 15 4 9 7/14 0/4 1/2 0 37 1 0 1 1 3
J. Nwora 11 7 2 3/9 3/6 2/2 4 33 0 0 3 0 7
M. Williams 9 4 0 4/10 1/4 0/0 2 21 0 1 0 2 2
K. Fore 2 2 1 1/5 0/1 0/0 0 14 0 0 2 1 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Perry 8 1 2 2/3 1/2 3/3 2 18 0 0 0 0 1
R. McMahon 5 0 0 2/7 1/4 0/0 3 20 1 0 3 0 0
S. Enoch 0 4 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 3 16 0 0 0 0 4
V. King 0 1 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 3 0 0 0 0 1
A. Agau - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Griffin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Redding - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Rainey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Battaile - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 69 31 14 26/62 10/29 7/9 16 200 4 3 11 7 24