A made 3-pointer by Johnson cut the lead back down to one point and on UNC's next possession, senior guard Kenny Williams put the Tar Heels back up 10-9 with two free throws. A 3-pointer by Maye quickly extended that lead to four points at the 14:06 mark as the Smith Center crowd ignited with cheers.
UNC had its biggest lead of the night at five points after Williams cut down the left side of the lane and finished a layup with a hand in his face. The Tar Heels led, 17-12, at the second official media timeout with 11:50 remaining in the opening half.
Junior guard Seventh Woods, Johnson and first-year forward Nassir Little scored seven consecutive points out of the timeout to give UNC a 24-12 lead at the 10:03 mark of the half.
White hit a 3-pointer at the 7:06 mark in the half to give UNC its biggest lead of the night at 32-18. A quick 4-0 run brought the lead back down to 10 points before White split his defenders once again to find Johnson for a short jump shot. First-year guard Leaky Black followed with a powerful slam dunk to make it a 36-22 game with 5:26 left in the first half.
Johnson hit his second 3-pointer of the half to put UNC up 39-22. Senior guard Josh Perkins got the lead down to single digits at 39-30 before Johnson responded with his third made 3-pointer of the night.
After the Bulldogs cut the lead down to eight points with 1:24 remaining in the first half, Woods converted back-to-back layups to put UNC up, 51-39. A floater by Woods right before halftime gave him 11 points and his team a 53-39 edge at the intermission.
UNC scored the first points of the second half on a dunk from sophomore forward Garrison Brooks, but Gonzaga quickly went on 7-2 scoring run to make it 57-46. The teams traded baskets before Johnson made his fourth 3-pointer of the night to put the Tar Heels back up by 14 points at 62-48.
The Bulldogs started to chip away at the lead again and trailed by just 10 points with the ball with 13:36 remaining in the game. However, a backcourt violation quickly gave UNC possession right back. A missed layup by Woods was followed by a reverse layup from Norvell to bring the lead down to single-digits.
The lead got back up to 10 points as Maye hit a jumper, then corralled his 10th rebound of the night on the next defensive possession.
With 8:30 remaining, Johnson put UNC up by 12 points on a step back 3-pointer for the team's biggest lead since the 14:13 mark in the second half. Thirty-three seconds later, Brooks added a pair of free throws to extend that margin to 14 points.
A Gonzaga basket was met by four straight points from White as UNC found itself back up by 16 at 87-71 with 6:55 remaining in the game.
Johnson hit a long 3-pointer, his fifth of the night, to give UNC a 92-75 advantage with 5:48 remaining in the game.
With two minutes remaining in the game, Maye hit a layup to give UNC a 100-88 lead. He converted a free throw after the shot to give him 1,000 points as a Tar Heel.
Who stood out?
Johnson led the way with 25 points on 8-12 shooting. Maye finished with 20 points, Woods had 14 points and White rounded out the double-digit scorers with 15.
When was it decided?
UNC was in control for much of the night but a 4-0 run from White put UNC up 87-71 with 6:55 remaining. The Bulldogs never got within 10 points the rest of the way.
Why does it matter?
North Carolina looked fresh despite not having played a game in 10 days. The win was a statement against a top-five opponent.
When do they play next?
UNC faces No. 19 Kentucky next Saturday in Chicago in the CBS Sports Classic at 5:15 p.m.
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