NCAA BK

Fri, Nov 15, 2013 - 8:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

No. 12 UNC beats Holy Cross

North Carolina Tar Heels forward James Michael McAdoo
North Carolina forward James Michael McAdoo makes contact with Holy Cross forward Malcolm...
Share This Story

   
 

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP)

Two games into the season, Marcus Paige looks comfortable hunting his shot for No. 12 North Carolina.

Paige scored a career-high 23 points to help the Tar Heels push their way past Holy Cross 62-54 on Friday night in the Hall of Fame Tipoff event, the sophomore's second strong scoring performance.

Paige scored 16 points after halftime and joined with fellow sophomore Brice Johnson to give the Tar Heels (2-0) the spark they needed to break free from a 35-all tie. And with leading scorer P.J. Hairston and senior guard Leslie McDonald out indefinitely due to NCAA eligibility concerns, the burden to provide some perimeter scoring punch is falling heavily to Paige as he plays more on the wing than as a full-time point guard last year.

''It's obviously a work in progress because it's something I haven't had to do here yet,'' Paige said. ''But at the same time, you're a basketball player. If the team needs you to step up and be a scorer, then that's what you have to do.''

Paige struggled with his shot through much of his rookie season before coming on in the final month or so. He scored in double figures in consecutive games twice last year, but had 14 points with four 3-pointers against Oakland then went 8-for-17 with three 3-pointers in 36 minutes Friday.

''Marcus is a good scorer, but Marcus is a basketball player,'' coach Roy Williams said. ''He has tremendous savvy, he's good defensively. I've got to try to get him more breaks where he doesn't play 36 minutes in a game.''

Johnson, a lean 6-foot-9 forward, added 12 points for his second straight double-figure scoring game after going the last 21 games of his freshman season without reaching double figures.

NCAA STANDINGS

Who are the big dogs this season? Check out all the conference races.

The duo scored 10 points during the 12-0 run that finally gave the Tar Heels some cushion midway through the second half against the Crusaders (1-2), who hung tough despite a miserable shooting game.

Malachi Alexander scored 13 to lead Holy Cross, which shot 29 percent and missed 17 of 22 3-pointers.

Holy Cross was coming off a 122-118 double-overtime win against Sacred Heart on Wednesday, when the Crusaders knocked down 11 3-pointers and got a combined 61 points from Cullen Hamilton and Dave Dudzinski. But shots just wouldn't fall against North Carolina, keeping the Crusaders from pressing the Tar Heels for a possible upset.

Dudzinski finished with 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting, while Hamilton had eight on 2-for-11 shooting.

''We just played in a game where we scored 122 points,'' Holy Cross coach Milan Brown said. ''Tonight we were in a rock fight.''

Then again, it wasn't like North Carolina looked sharp, either.

UNC shot 27 percent (9 for 33) in the first half, but nearly 52 percent after halftime to finally take control. Williams said his team played with more patience to look for better shots, while Johnson said the Tar Heels played selfishly early.

''It just seemed like everybody was taking one-dribble shots and one-pass shots instead of doing like we did in the first game where we were passing it around, passing it inside, passing it out,'' Johnson said. ''We weren't moving the ball the way we should have.''

NCAA POLLS

These are the nation's best. Where is your team in the latest polls?

The Tar Heels led 11-1 early as Holy Cross misfired on 16 of 18 shots to open the game. But with UNC shooting badly, too, the Crusaders were able to crawl their way into a 25-all tie just before halftime.

Holy Cross led 32-29 on Justin Burrell's basket with 16:39 left and the teams were tied at 35 before Paige and Johnson sparked the decisive run. Johnson showed a nice touch with three baskets in the paint, while Paige hit a reverse layup and a jumper around a screen to push the lead to 47-35 with 9 1/2 minutes left.

Paige hit four free throws in the final minute to help seal the win, including two with 58.5 seconds left after Holy Cross had clawed to within 56-50.

''We lost Paige a couple of times and he hurt us,'' Brown said. ''He loosened the paint up. And to that point, we were able to contract our defense and just keep everybody out of the lane and just fight. But once he made a few jump shots, he loosened some things up.''

The Tar Heels play Belmont here Sunday in the Tipoff, then face Richmond next weekend in the tournament's semifinal round in Uncasville, Conn.

Tagged: North Carolina, Holy Cross

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..