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Off the cuff:  This was Carolina's 150th win against NC State (against 76 losses). UNC has won 16 of the last 17 and 22 of the last 24 meetings.

The Tar Heels are now 11-4 against NC State in PNC Arena.

This was the first time a UNC-NC State game was decided by a single point since a 45-44 Carolina victory in Reynolds Coliseum on Feb. 12, 1997.

Roy Williams s now 27-2 as a head coach against NC State, including 22-2 at UNC.

Tar Heels 85, NC State 84
Paige outduels Warren in Heels' OT win

North Carolina had it, lost it and thanks to Marcus Paige got it back again as the Tar Heels defeated NC State 85-84 in overtime. (2/26)

More precisely, it was Paige outdueling State’s TJ Warren as the two went back and forth in the second half, especially late in the game and in overtime.

Warren, who scored 36 points, calmly canned two free throws at the end of regulation. Paige, who scored a career-high 35 points, drove to the hoop to score the winning bucket with less than a second to go in overtime.

“I felt like we gave one away and then at the end stole one,” UNC coach Roy Williams said.

The Tar Heels trailed by eight, 34-26, at the half – a half that saw Paige score just four points. But Paige proceeded to drain seven threes in the second half including back-to-back ones that drew Carolina to within a point at 52-51.

A driving lay-in by JP Tokoto with seven minutes to go put UNC up for the first time since it was 5-4 early.

But the lead went back and forth the rest of the way until it appeared the Tar Heels had a good chance to win it in regulation. Paige hit two free throws with 3.6 seconds left to put the Heels up 71-69.

After UNC’s Leslie McDonald knocked the inbounds pass out of bounds, State had but 1.5 seconds to score from the opposite end of the court. Before the ball was inbounded, however, McDonald fouled Warren, who hit the free throws to force overtime.

“I felt like we had the game won and then we made one of the silliest fouls I’ve ever seen,” Williams said.

A couple of minutes later it was the Pack’s turn to feel like they had it won up by six at 77-71 with three minutes left and 80-74 with two minutes left. They were up again by six with 1:39 left following a Warren bank shot which made it 82-76.

Paige hit a three and a pair of free throws to make it 83-81 State with just 41 seconds left.

Warren turned the ball over against Carolina’s full-court pressure. After an official timeout to review the play, James Michael McAdoo scored inside on a set play to tie it at 83-all with 31 seconds left.

McAdoo fouled Warren along the baseline with less than eight seconds left but Warren hit only one to put State up 84-83. That led to Paige’s heroics as he drove the left side of the lane for a contested layup.

“I loved our effort,” State coach Mark Gottfried said. “I loved our competitiveness. I hurt for our guys right now because I thought they laid it all on the line.”

A near giddy Paige was very excited in the locker room, stating that he wasn’t going to sleep. “To kind of shut the fans up was very satisfying,” he said.

In addition to Paige's 35 points, Tokoto, who battled cramping late, scored 16 and Brice Johnson chipped in 10.

UNC's 10th straight victory moves the Heels to 21-7 and 11-4 in the ACC while State fell to 17-11 and 7-8 in the league.

The Tar Heels play at Virginia Tech Saturday afternoon.


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