The North Carolina men's basketball team (7-5, 1-1 ACC) snapped a four-game losing streak and knocked off UCLA (7-5) on Saturday as part of the CBS Sports Classic, 74-64. The Tar Heels sank six three-pointers and overcame a 17-turnover day to get the win.
In the first half, North Carolina held a 15-13 lead at the under-12 timeout, behind a balanced scoring effort with five different Tar Heels on the board to that point. First-year center Armando Bacot had posted five points, three of them at the charity stripe.
UNC was held to just one bucket in the next four-minute segment, and the game was tied at 17 with 7:34 to go before the break. But an ensuing 14-2 spurt, punctuated by a pair of Brandon Robinson three-pointers, gave North Carolina a handy lead that it would extend to 13 by halftime, 36-23.
In the first 20 minutes, Robinson and Bacot each had a game-high nine points, while junior forward Garrison Brooks added eight. The Tar Heels looked much-improved on the offensive end, sinking four three-pointers on 10 attempts and collecting assists on seven of their 14 made baskets.
But North Carolina promptly began the second half with a four-minute, 38-second scoring drought, allowing the Bruins to score 12 unanswered points and slice the deficit to one. Seven combined points from Bacot and fellow first-year Anthony Harris helped stretch the lead back out to 45-38 at the 11:32 mark.
Though the offensive struggle continued – with 6:56 to play, the teams had combined for 34 turnovers – UNC was able to hold serve with a 51-43 advantage. That was before Harris sank back-to-back triples on consecutive possessions; with less than six minutes to play, the UNC lead was stretched to 12.
From there, North Carolina wasn't threatened again and left Las Vegas with a much-needed victory.