North Carolina built a double-digit lead midway through the first half with a 19-3 run. The same factors that haunted Gonzaga throughout surfaced as Cameron Johnson started it with a 3-pointer after an offensive rebound, one of three second-chance buckets during the spurt. The Zags trimmed the deficit to eight or nine on numerous occasions, only to watch the Tar Heels respond with key baskets.
UNC’s Johnson stung the Zags repeatedly, burying six 3-pointers while scoring a season-high 25 points. The grad student made 8 of 12 field-goal attempts, including 6 of 8 3s. He used his 6-foot-9 frame to create several open looks over shorter defenders.
North Carolina’s Luke Maye did a creditable job inside against Rui Hachimura, with some help from 6-9 shot-blocker Garrison Brooks. Hachimura finished with 17 points but made just 5 of 14 shot attempts. Maye also grabbed 16 rebounds, 13 at the defensive end.
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