Miami builds 27-point halftime lead, cruises past UNC 85-57
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Isaiah Wong scored 25 points, Sam Waardenburg set a career high with 21 points and Miami led by 27 points at halftime en route to an 85-57 victory over North Carolina on Tuesday night.
The Hurricanes ended a five-game losing streak in the series with their largest margin of victory over the Tar Heels. Miami led 49-22 at the break — matching North Carolina’s largest halftime deficit since 2010 against Duke.
Miami scored 14 unanswered points early in the first half, with two 3-pointers by Waardenburg, for a 16-5 lead and the Hurricanes led by at least eight points the rest of the way. Waardenburg had 11 points in the opening nine minutes to match North Carolina’s total, and his dunk later in the half made it 39-18 after his sixth straight made basket.
Waardenburg scored 17 points in the first half, Wong added 15 points and Kameron McGusty had 12 as the Hurricanes shot 58.1% from the field, including 8 of 14 from 3-point range. North Carolina was just 7-of-31 shooting (22.6%) in the half with 10 turnovers.
Miami held Armando Bacot, who entered with back-to-back 29-point games, to just three points in the first half after playing 16 minutes due to two fouls.
The lead reached 33 points in the second half.
McGusty finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double this year for Miami (14-4, 6-1 ACC), which has won 10 of its last 11 games.
Bacot had 15 points and 12 rebounds for North Carolina (12-5, 4-2). Bacot landed hard on the court with 5:01 left in the second half and stayed down for a few minutes before gingerly walking off.
Miami is scheduled to host Florida State on Saturday in a rematch of the Hurricanes’ 65-64 loss on Jan. 11. North Carolina plays at Wake Forest on Saturday.