Texas vs North Carolina

Late jumper lifts No. 22 Texas over North Carolina


GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Texas coach Rick Barnes spent the first few games of the season pressing Cory Joseph to be more assertive and to keep looking for his shot.

The freshman is obviously listening. With the game on the line against North Carolina, he wasn't going to give the ball to anyone else.

Joseph hit a turnaround jumper over Dexter Strickland with 1.4 seconds left to help the 22nd-ranked Longhorns beat the Tar Heels 78-76 on Saturday, giving them their third straight win.

Joseph had a season-high 21 points for the Longhorns (9-2), while Jordan Hamilton had a team-high 24 points. The Longhorns trailed for most of the second half before rallying in the final 3 minutes against the Tar Heels (7-4), who were playing in front of an instate crowd that fell silent shortly after Joseph's basket.

"I thought our guys were really tough in the last 4 minutes," Barnes said. "We had a lot of different guys step up and do some things. But I just told the team that from top to bottom, this is as good of a team win as we've had in a long, long time."

Joseph's shot offered a measure of late-game redemption after he fell short in a similar situation almost exactly a month ago. With his team trailing Pittsburgh by two in the final seconds of the 2K Sports Classic championship game, Joseph drove the baseline and could only manage an off-balance heave that had no chance of going in to seal the Panthers' 68-66 win.

This time, he knocked down the shot -- even though Barnes wanted Joseph to drive to the basket and draw a foul.

After Harrison Barnes had hit a tying 3-pointer with 12.7 seconds left, Joseph drove to the top of the key against Strickland and pump-faked to get the sophomore airborne. Then, he spun to his right and lofted a shot that dropped cleanly through the net and sent the Texas bench into celebration.

"Going back to the Pittsburgh game, I felt like I rushed it," Joseph said. "I had to ... take my time and try to get to the free-throw line and just pull up."

Senior Gary Johnson was having flashbacks to the Pitt game, too.

"I was hoping he took a good shot and had a good look at it," Johnson said. "I still don't think it was a good look, but it was a good shot."

Strickland could only credit Joseph for making a tough shot.

"I could've did a better job of not going for the first shot and the pump fake, and staying down and contesting the shot even better," Strickland said. "But it was a tough shot, he's a great player and he got a bucket."

Still, the Tar Heels had a chance to answer. They inbounded the ball to halfcourt and called a timeout to set up a play, but Kendall Marshall managed only a desperation 3 that hit all backboard as the horn sounded.

Strickland matched his career-high with 18 points for North Carolina, while Barnes had 16 points. Tyler Zeller, the team's leading scorer, had 14.

It was a good win for the Longhorns as they enter a tough stretch of nonconference games. Next up is a trip to No. 14 Michigan State on Wednesday followed by a home game against No. 4 Connecticut three games later before opening Big 12 Conference play against Texas Tech.

As for the Tar Heels, they fell just short in adding another marquee victory to their resume. They edged Kentucky two weeks ago at home, but had played just two games since during exams and couldn't quite pull this one out when things got tight late.

Texas led by 10 points in the first half before North Carolina finally stood up to the Longhorns' physical play inside and kept them off the offensive boards. North Carolina rallied to take a 33-32 halftime lead, then led by as many as seven points three times to charge up the blue-clad crowd before seeing it slip away.

Texas shot 53 percent in the second half to win the fourth straight meeting in the series.

Tristan Thompson's dunk over Zeller gave Texas a 74-73 lead with 45.4 seconds to play. Then, after Zeller missed a hook shot on a good look with about 30 seconds left, J'Covan Brown hit two free throws to push the margin to three. Barnes answered with a confident catch-and-shoot 3 over Dogus Balbay from the left wing to tie it, only to see Joseph top him on the next possession.

"We are not a very confident team right now," coach Roy Williams said. "We are a very ticked off team right now. We had some chances."

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Josesph caps a season-high 21 points with the game-winning shot. (Getty Images)
Josesph caps a season-high 21 points with the game-winning shot. (Getty Images)
Texas #22 (9-2) «324678
North Carolina (7-4)334376
TX:J. Hamilton 24 Pts
TX:J. Hamilton 10 Reb
TX:D. Balbay 3 Ast
NC:D. Strickland 18 Pts
NC:J. Henson 8 Reb
NC:L. Drew II 3 Ast

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TexasNorth Carolina
Jordan Hamilton
Dexter Strickland
Texas Longhorns
C. Joseph, G358-144-643321
J. Hamilton, G-F3410-180-0102324
G. Johnson, F334-133-532011
D. Balbay, G181-30-01342
T. Thompson, F162-50-25144
J. Brown, G253-94-431210
M. Hill, F-C191-22-24134
A. Wangmene, F-C151-40-09032
J. Lucas, G50-00-00000
C. Chapman, F-CDid Not Play
A. Dick, GDid Not Play
D. Melchionni, GDid Not Play
T. Morgan, GDid Not Play
Totals 30-6813-1939132278
North Carolina Tar Heels
H. Barnes, F315-105-532216
D. Strickland, G306-105-613018
L. Drew II, G250-32-22352
J. Henson, F255-120-080110
T. Zeller, F246-122-471414
J. Knox, F231-30-25112
K. Marshall, G153-51-13317
L. McDonald, G100-40-00020
R. Bullock, G91-20-02012
J. Watts, G82-40-02025
D. Bolick, UDid Not Play
S. Cooper, FDid Not Play
P. Crouch, UDid Not Play
D. Dupont, UDid Not Play
V. Hatchell, UDid Not Play
D. Johnston, UDid Not Play
Totals 29-6515-2033131976
Big 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Texas Tech4-115-215
W. Virginia4-215-316
Kansas St.2-312-591
Oklahoma St.2-412-681
Iowa St.1-410-6107

TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Georgia Tech3-110-7135
N. Carolina3-214-45
Notre Dame3-213-550
Boston College3-313-683
Miami (Fla.)2-313-420
Va. Tech2-313-573
NC State2-312-668
Florida St.2-413-541
Wake Forest1-48-9126
Other games
LOYM 75 Final
USC 68 Final
Kansas 70
Illinois 54 Final
UIC 57
SC 57 Final
Ohio St 79
Arkansas 62 Final
Tx A&M 71
Grd-Web 49 Final
Louisville 78
K-State 44 Final
Florida 57
Indiana St 52 Final
Purdue 65
GONZ 68 Final
Baylor 64
BYU 79 Final
PV A&M 51 Final
Mich St 90
Md-E Shr 64 Final
IONA 77 Final
Syracuse 83
Delaware 59 Final
MS Val St 60 Final
Kentucky 85
CAR 63 Final
Missouri 116
So Utah 50 Final
UCSB 64 Final