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Off the cuff: It's impressive that Carolina has won all three of its conference road games so far. While Miami isn't a deep team and doesn't have a great record, the Hurricanes seem to always give the Heels fits, especially in Miami.

And it was that way again for most of the game. It's hard to believe that there were 18 lead changes in the game but none over the last 17 minutes.

Carolina took better care of the basketball over the second half but still turned the ball over 15 times for the game. The Heels' uptempo pace will probably lead to double-digit turnovers but history shows that they need to keep it closer to 10 than 15 or 20 to truly excel.

Both Luke Maye and Nassir Little got in foul trouble early in the game and their minutes suffered but their point production didn't. Maye scored 13 points in 28 minutes while Little scored 12 in just 13 minutes.

Little's most exciting play came when he forefully and quickly drove down the center of the lane for a two-handed dunk that put Carolina up 49-46 with 16:04 left in the game. Both Little and Maye ended the game with four fouls.

Seventh Woods, who has slumped recently, turned the ball over twice in the first half and only saw four total minutes of playing time. I suppose that's ok when starting point guard Coby White is playing well and is not in foul trouble.

Tar Heels 85, Miami 76
Late-game threes propel UNC to victory

North Carolina was locked in a close battle at Miami with seven minutes to go when UNC's Cam Johnson and Kenny Williams combined for four three-pointers over the next two and a half minutes to propel the Tar Heels to an 85-76 win over the Canes. (1/19)

After a first half that went back and forth and ended in a 37-37 tie, the Tar Heels went on a 7-0 run to go up 56-48 with 13:20 left in the game.

Trailing the Heels 61-52 midway through the second half, the Hurricanes went on a 10-2 run of their own to cut the deficit to a single point at 63-62 with less than seven minutes left.

That's when Johnson and Williams went to work. Johnson hit a three from the left side, right in front of the Carolina bench, and 35 seconds later followed that up with a three from the right corner. Williams followed suit with two threes in a row that led Miami to call a timeout as Williams emotional hopped around the court showing three fingers to the crowd.

"When you're emotional, you're involved," UNC coach Roy Williams said regarding the Heels' second half turnaround. "You have to have attitude and enthusiasm to be really good."

For the second time in two games, Coach Williams said he ranted and raved at the half and the Heels had better second halves.

"We were tougher mentally in the second half than in the first half," Coach Williams said adding that the Heels kept Miami from hitting threes in the second half. The Canes scored seven threes in the first half against only five two-pointers but were held to two three pointers in the second half.

Coach Williams said the two threes by Johnson, who had been cold from beyond the three-point line over he last couple of games, were "huge" for the Tar Heels. The buckets kept Miami from having the ball with a chance to take a lead. "If he doesn't make them, the crowd gets into it more and more and more," Coach Williams said.

Johnson hit five threes during the game and led five double-figure scorers with 22 points. Williams, who had seven assists, scored a season-high 16 points. Coby White had 15, Luke Maye added 13 and Nassir Little chipped in 12.

There with 18 lead changes during the game but the Heels never trailed again after a White lob to Garrison Brooks for a dunk that put Carolina ahead 47-47 with 16:40 left.

The Tar Heels shot 55 percent, including 9 for 20 from behind the three-point line, compared to 49 percent for the Hurricanes. Carolina also had a commanding 38-23 edge in rebounding.

North Carolina moves to 14-4 and 4-1 in the ACC while Miami, led by Chris Lykes' 20 points, falls to 9-8 overall and 1-4 in the conference.

The Tar Heels host No. 9 Virginia Tech Monday night.

Box score

UNC's Luke Maye muscles up for two of his 13 points. (UNC Sports Information photo.)

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