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The Daily Tar Heel
From the Press Box

UNC leads Villanova 39-34 at halftime of the national championship game

HOUSTON — After a back-and-forth first half, the North Carolina men's basketball team enters halftime with a 39-34 lead over Villanova in the national championship game at NRG Stadium.

The Wildcats jumped out to an early 19-14 lead behind the strong play of senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono, who scored seven of Villanova's first nine points.

But after junior forward Kennedy Meeks made a turnaround jumper, three different Tar Heels made a 3-pointer on three straight UNC possessions to give North Carolina a 25-23 edge with 7:27 left before halftime.

The final 3-pointer during that stretch was made by sophomore Joel Berry. The basket marked the first of 12 consecutive UNC points scored by the guard, who leads all scorers with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

North Carolina finished the first half 7-of-9 from beyond the perimeter, but Villanova holds an 18-12 advantage on points in the paint.

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