Jan. 18, 2011
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CHAPEL HILL (AP) – Harrison Barnes hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with about 5 minutes left to help North Carolina beat Clemson 75-65 on Tuesday night, staying perfect all-time against the Tigers at home.
Barnes finished with 13 points and six rebounds for the Tar Heels (13-5, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Fellow freshman Reggie Bullock scored 16 of his season-high 18 points in the first half, while John Henson added 14 points and a key tip-in with about 2 minutes to go.
Andre Young and Demontez Stitt each scored 11 points for the Tigers (13-5, 2-2), who rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half and headed into the final minutes in a tie game. Clemson didn’t score in the final 4 1/2 minutes as the Tar Heels made enough plays to win it late.
The Tigers certainly had a chance, tying the game on a 3 from Stitt with about 7 1/2 left to make it 63-63.
Barnes caught a pass from Bullock and calmly buried a 3-pointer with 4:55 left from near the North Carolina bench to put the Tar Heels ahead to stay. Clemson answered with a layup off an offensive rebound from Stitt to close the gap to one on the next possession, but the Tigers couldn’t push ahead or get the one stop they desperately needed.
Kendall Marshall added two free throws to make it a three-point game, then Henson tipped in a missed drive from Larry Drew II to push the margin to 70-65 with 2:04 left.
Drew punctuated the win with a steal and layup with 12.4 seconds left.
The Tar Heels were coming off a miserable showing in a 20-point loss at Georgia Tech on Sunday night, and coach Roy Williams made a change by starting Marshall over Drew at the point. Marshall had five points and five assists with three turnovers, while Drew had eight points, four rebounds and four steals off the bench.
North Carolina played without Leslie McDonald, its top scoring reserve. The sophomore sat out as a precaution with a back contusion suffered in the loss to the Yellow Jackets.
Both teams lost players to injuries in the first half. Clemson’s Tanner Smith suffered a sprained right knee when Barnes fell into his leg on a drive with 9:21 left before the break, while North Carolina’s Justin Watts sprained his right ankle with about 2 minutes left.
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