CHAPEL HILL—Right now, Miami has North Carolina’s number.
For the fourth consecutive time, the Hurricanes earned a win over the ACC rival Tar Heels, but this most recent victory—a 63-57 thriller on Carolina’s home court—may be the biggest in the stretch.
Not only did it give Miami its first conference win of the season, but the victory came four days after Miami fell short in a gutsy effort against No. 2 Syracuse in the Carrier Dome and it likely gives the young Hurricanes another much-needed confidence boost.
Miami, which fell behind 8-0 to start the game before answering with a 10-0 run, finished with three players in double figures led by senior guard Rion Brown, who had a double-double with a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds. Erik Swoope added a career-high 14 points while Manu Lecomte had 11 points and seven assists for Miami (9-6, 1-2 ACC). Tonye Jekiri had a career-high 10 rebounds for Miami, who held North Carolina (10-5, 0-2) to just 30.8 percent shooting.
Midway through the second half, Miami scored 11 straight points, highlighted by two dunks from Swoope, to push its lead to 46-33. North Carolina pulled within four, but Swoope converted two big 3-point plays and the Hurricanes managed to hold off the Tar Heels late rally.
The Hurricanes return to action Jan. 15 when they host Florida State at the BankUnited Center.