Recap: Louisville vs. North Carolina
Uncasville, CT (SportsNetwork.com) - Marcus Paige set a career high in points for the second day in a row and No. 24 North Carolina beat No. 3 Louisville 93-84 on Sunday to win the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip Off.
Paige poured in 32 points after scoring 26 in Saturday's win over Richmond and the Tar Heels (4-1) got 13 points apiece from Kennedy Meeks and Brice Johnson.
"I'm trying to stay in attack mode the entire time," Paige said. "That makes our team harder to guard and frees up the big guys."
Russ Smith also set a career high with 36 points for Louisville (5-1). Chris Jones added 20 but Montrezl Harrell fouled out after scoring just five.
The Cardinals were trying to go 6-0 for the third time in four seasons but the reigning national champions found foul trouble late.
Paige appeared to roll his ankle on a hard stop in the final minute but missed only about five seconds of game time after limping off and running a little in the tunnel.
The Tar Heels, who have won two straight after being upset by Belmont on Nov. 17, used an 18-7 spurt highlighted by James Michael McAdoo's fast-break dunk to take a 70-58 lead midway through the second half at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Harrell fouled out with 7:27 remaining after Jackson Simmons stepped in to take a charge under the basket. The Tar Heels had a 77-65 lead at the time and it reached 83-67 on a McAdoo layup with six minutes left.
"They weren't good fouls, especially that fifth one," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said of Harrell fouling out. "You give it to people open or you go around them, you don't try to pull a Michael Jordan at that point."
The Cardinals got it as close as seven in the last minute on a Jones shot from long distance, but McAdoo's dunk at the other end punctuated North Carolina's win.
Earlier, Smith was 4-for-6 on 3-pointers and scored 22 in the first half. He hit one during a 10-5 burst that gave the Cardinals the biggest lead of the half at 19-10.
The Tar Heels climbed back and Paige scored the last of his 17 first-half points on a trey in the final second to tie the score at 44-44 going into the break.Game Notes
The Tar Heels lead the all-time series 9-3. They had won the previous meeting
between the teams in the 2008 NCAA tournament East Regional Final ... The
Cardinals are home against Southern Mississippi on Friday.