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Off the cuff: After getting off to a slow start and barely being able to hang on at the end to an average Davidson team, UNC coach Roy Williams said, "We sucked."

He immediately lamented saying those words as his wife would get on him for being crass.

He said he thinks some of his starters thought it was going to be easy despite being without Joel Berry who is out with an ankle injury. He specifically called out Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks for poor play, especially early.

Berry may be back for the Tennessee game Sunday but it's not a given. So, Carolina has to play with all kinds of situations.

Luke Maye played his best game as a Tar Heel after playing one of his worst.

But if Justin Jackson had not been hot from beyond the arc and if the Heels hadn't gone to the line a lot, hitting most of them, it could have been a loss.

Teams need games like this though. Most Carolina fans will be satisfied with an ugly win over a pretty loss.


Tar Heels 83, Davidson 74
Tar Heels survive late Davidson run

North Carolina got a lift from its subs and held on despite a late run that saw a 16-point lead dwindle to three as the Tar Heels defeated Davidson 83-74 at home Wednesday night. (12/7)

Carolina was already playing without starting point guard Joel Berry, who is out with a sprained ankle. And then the starters turned the ball over five times in the first four minutes as the Wildcats took an early 10-3 edge. That made UNC coach Roy Williams ill as a hornet and he went to the bench.

The sub lineup of Seven Woods, Stilman White, Tony Bradley, Luke Maye and Brandon Robinson provided a spark. Their 10-0 run put the Tar Heels up 13-10.

"Those subs kept us in the game early," Coach Williams said adding that being without Berry hurt but that it shouldn't be an excuse."

"It was big playing without Joel," UNC's Justin Jackson said. "And some of the guys didn't come out to play."

Jackson wasn't one of them as he kept the Tar Heels ahead with a team-high 27 points including seven three-pointers.

Luke Maye scored a career-high 10 points off the bench with all-around good play.

Carolina led 42-32 at the half after leading by as many as 12 points in the first half. The lead stayed in that area until Kennedy Meeks, who was doubled teamed most of the night, followed his own miss and Jackson hit a pair of free throws to put the Heels up by 16 with 12:46 to go.

The Tar Heels led by 15 at 66-51 following a Kenny Williams with eight minutes left but that's when things got a little hairy.

Runs of 7-0 and 9-0 by the Wildcats cut the margin to just three at 76-73 with 1:51 to go.

But Carolina hit seven free throws down the stretch to wrap it up after going the last 5:27 without a field goal.

"It was not fun tonight," Coach Williams said. "It was as frustrating as I can remember. But we won. We made some free throws down the stretch."

The Tar Heels shot only 38 percent from the floor but they did sink 10 threes and were 27 of 34 from the foul line.

Jack Gibbs, one of the leading scorers in the country, led Davidson with 30 points.

Davidson falls to 5-3 while North Carolina improves to 9-1.

The Tar Heels host a tough Tennessee team Sunday at 5 p.m.

Box Score

Luke Maye.

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