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Off the cuff: When you shoot 57 percent from the floor, 74 percent from the line and outrebound the other team by 14, you normally win and Carolina did.

But this was a five-point game with less than three minutes to play. Boston College missed several three pointers in a row. Another better team might have hit a couple of them and taken the lead. Who knows what would have happended had that been the case.

But Marcus Paige, who had done very little in the game and who went scoreless in the first half, once again came through. He opened it up with a drive down the left side after milking the shot clock, two free throws and a layup in the last 1:20.

Isaiah Hicks, who well may have been the player of the game with an unexpected start and career-high 21 points, missed a free throw in a one-and-one situation with 2:19 to go. He had hit seven free throws in a row before missing the final four at key moments.

Kennedy Meeks, who has been sick, didn't start but Coach Williams said it was a coach decision not an illness that kept him out. Meeks played just 12 minutes and scored just four points.

Hicks and Brice Johnson controlled the game inside but if the Heels run into a team hitting threes, it will be tough trading twos for threes.

Tar Heels 79, Boston College 68
UNC's inside game dominates Eagles

North Carolina big men Brice Johnson and Isaiah Hicks combined for 41 points and the Tar Heels had 14 more rebounds as the inside game beat Boston College 79-68. (2/7)

With the team's leading scorer, Marcus Paige, being held to no points in the first half, the Tar Heels went into the break tied at 36.

But in the second half, Carolina shot a blistering 67 percent and cut the turnovers down from 10 in the first half to four in the second half.

"It was a weird game with contrasting styles," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "They shot 23 threes and we shot five."

Williams noted that his team had success in banging it in low and his team played with more urgency in the second half.

A 7-0 UNC run opened the lead up to 13 points at 58-45. A JP Tokoto to Hicks pass for a dunk followed by a Paige three highlighted the run.

The Tar Heels' largest lead came on a Johnson follow with 9:51 left that made it 63-49.

But Boston College, behind Olivier Hanlan who scored a season-high 30 points, cut the lead to just five over the next five minutes.

The lead stayed at five or seven until Paige, who scored 13 points in the second half, scored the last six points of the game for the final 11-point margin.

Hicks, who had a career-high 21 points during a season-high 28 minutes, was the Tar Heels' highest scorer as he earned the start over Kennedy Meeks.

Johnson, who had 10 rebounds, was just behind with 20 points. UNC's Joel Berry, who played 10 minutes, saw action for the first time in several games after being injured.

The Tar Heels, who play at Pitt next Saturday, improve to 18-6 overall and 8-3 in the ACC while Boston College falls to 9-13 and 1-9 in the league.


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