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(Saturday, November 23rd)
Final Score: (24) North Carolina 82, Richmond 72
Uncasville, CT (SportsNetwork.com) - Marcus Paige made six 3-pointers en route to 26 points as the 24th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels held off the Richmond Spiders, 82-72, in the semifinals of the Hall Of Fame Tip-off.
Brice Johnson added 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Tar Heels (3-1), who will take on defending national champion Louisville in Sunday's championship game.
North Carolina bounced back from a loss to Belmont last Sunday.
"Everything was working," Johnson said. "Just came out there with energy and came prepared to play."
Cedrick Lindsay ended with 29 points for the Spiders (3-2), who got 13 points from Kendall Anthony.
Trailing 17-8, North Carolina went on a 9-0 run to tie the game. Paige made a 3-pointer during the spurt that Johnson capped with a jumper.
The Tar Heels scored the final six points of the first half to take a 36-33 lead.
"I liked the toughness of our team at the end of the first half," UNC head coach Roy Williams said. "Things weren't going that well but we made a pretty nice run the last five or six minutes of the first half."
The margin reached seven, 47-40, on Paige's 3-pointer with 15:43 to play.
But the Spiders failed to go away and a quick 6-0 spurt tied the contest at 51.
Holding a 66-62 lead with about four minutes remaining, North Carolina went on an 8-0 run to create some distance. Paige made a shot from beyond the arc during the flurry that Jackson Simmons capped with two free throws for a 74-62 edge.
Richmond never got closer than seven the rest of the way.
North Carolina leads the all-time series by a 15-2 margin ... The Tar Heels went 26-of-37 from the foul line, while Richmond went 21-of-29 from the charity stripe ... The Spiders turned the ball over 17 times.
11/23 16:51:47 ET