Marcus Paige made a game saving block on Eric Atkins to give North Carolina a 63-61 win over Notre Dame on Monday night. The No. 14 ranked Tarheels secured their 12th straight victory, but it didn’t come easy.
On senior night, North Carolina used a once in a lifetime lineup to start the game. They opened the scoring with a three pointer by Wade Moody, and that looked like a precursor of what was to come.
The Tarheels opened up a 14 point lead at halftime, but with the way college basketball has been going this season, a Fighting Irish run was expected.
Right out of the second half gate, Notre Dame put the pressure on North Carolina’s winning streak. They hit the Tarheels with a 22-5 run to take a three point lead, yet as quick as their scoring burst happened, another scoring drought quickly appeared.
Both teams shot below 46% from the foul line, so for long stretches, there was no scoring. Easy attempts in the lane were impossible to come by, and North Carolina’s Marcus Paige only hit 1-5 three point attempts.
Notre Dame had three players in double figures lead by Eric Atkins’ 21 points. Pat Connaughton scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
North Carolina played 13 players and only two of them got into double figures. James Michael-McAdoo scored 14 points to lead the Tarheels.
North Carolina (23-7,13-4) has one more game against Duke to finish the regular season. Notre Dame fell below .500 to (15-16).
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