LEXINGTON, KY — John Wall and No. 5 Kentucky ran wild in the first half, and No. 10 North Carolina's late rally fell short.
Wall scored 16 points and dished out seven assists, and Patrick Patterson led Kentucky with 19 points.
UNC's Deon Thompson led the Tar Heels with 14 points on 6 for 13 shooting. Will Graves had 13 and Tyler Zeller had 10.
The Tar Heels (7-2, 0-0 ACC) trailed by as many as 19 in the first half and had to battle back to get within 15 at the break. But in the second half, Wall went out for about eight minutes with a minor injury. UNC used the time to storm back and closed the gap to three points with 4:29 to play.
But Kentucky (8-0, 0-0 SEC) got some clutch free throws from freshmen Wall and Eric Bledsoe to hold off UNC and emerge with the win.
UNC goes on to play Presbyterian on Dec. 12 and Texas on Dec. 19
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