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(Saturday, March 16th)
Final Score: North Carolina 79, Maryland 76
Greensboro, NC (Sports Network) - Reggie Bullock netted 15 points to go along with nine rebounds and Dexter Strickland also had 15 points and dished out four assists as North Carolina picked up a 79-76 victory over Maryland in ACC semifinal action.
James Michael McAdoo scored 13 points and grabbed eight boards and P.J. Hairston scored 13 points for the Tar Heels (24-9), who advance to play Miami- Florida in Sunday's ACC title game and have won eight of nine.
"We sort of let up towards the middle of the game and just made it interesting towards the end of the second half," Hairston said. "They fought hard. You have to give credit to them for that. But we came out with the victory because we did smart things at the end."
Alex Len led all players with 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while Nick Faust followed with 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range for the Terrapins (22-12), who had the ball with 10.9 seconds remaining, but Logan Aronhalt misfired completely from behind the arc and UNC was able to hold on for the victory.
UNC led by 13 points 8 1/2 minutes into the second half on two Leslie McDonald free throws. Maryland then utilized a 12-2 flurry to claw back within 60-57 with 8:46 remaining.
McDonald and Bullock then helped the Tar Heels distance themselves, nailing back-to-back triples -- in between one Len free throw -- before McDonald hit two free throws to make it a 10-point advantage with just over seven minutes to play.
Maryland wasn't done though, as Len's layup with three minutes to play capped off a quick 7-0 spurt to bring the 'Terps within 71-70.
UNC, however, answered with Marcus Paige, who supplied four points during a crucial 6-1 swing, as his baseline lay-in with 36.5 seconds remaining increased the edge to 77-72, allowing the Tar Heels to hold on for the victory.
"Needless to say, I'm really proud of my group," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "We were dead at the start of the game, we had no energy whatsoever. Emotional win last night beatin' the No. 2 team in the country in Duke, and we all tried to sleep last night but none of us slept very much."
McAdoo's jumper around the midway point of the first half put the Tar Heels ahead 22-11 before two Seth Allen free throws with under five minutes to play cut the deficit to 27-24, capping off a 13-5 swing.
North Carolina held a 37-32 edge at the break.
03/16 19:37:49 ET
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