Paige’s return lifts No. 9 UNC past No. 2 Maryland 89-81

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) Marcus Paige scored 20 points in his season debut following a hand injury to help No. 9 North Carolina beat No. 2 Maryland 89-81 on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Brice Johnson added 16 points for the Tar Heels (6-1), who shot 53 percent and repeatedly capitalized on Terrapins miscues to hang on in a tough matchup.

Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists to lead Maryland (6-1), which shot 51 percent but committed 22 turnovers that UNC converted into 21 points.

This was the headlining matchup for the interconference series, pitting two Atlantic Coast Conference charter members with Final Four aspirations. Paige and Trimble basically took this one over for much of the second half, putting on a show of high-level guard play to make this matchup worthy of the rankings.