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Pitt rallies for 76-74 win over No. 25 North Carolina

Dec 30, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard R.J. Davis (middle) drives to the basket between Pittsburgh Panthers guard Nelly Cummings (0) and guard Jamarius Burton (11) during the first half at Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jamarius Burton poured in 31 points and host Pittsburgh used good efficiency across the last 12 minutes for a 76-74 comeback victory against No. 25 North Carolina on Friday afternoon.

Blake Hinson added 16 points and Nelly Cummings had nine points to boost the Panthers (10-4, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) in their ACC home opener.

The Tar Heels made it tight by scoring the last five points in the final 10 seconds. They made just one 3-point shot in the second half.

Armando Bacot racked up 22 points and 13 rebounds, but North Carolina (9-5, 1-2) had a four-game winning streak snapped. RJ Davis had 16 points and Pete Nance posted 10 for the Tar Heels.

Burton shot 14-for-17 from the field, missing his only 3-point attempt.

Pittsburgh defeated North Carolina for the second season in a row.

The Tar Heels led throughout the game until Pittsburgh pulled even at 58-58 on Cummings’ jumper with 6:37 remaining.

The Panthers went ahead for the first time since the opening minute of the game on Burton’s three-point play with 3:59 to play. His basket on the next Pittsburgh possession stretched the lead to 65-62.

North Carolina wasn’t even again until Black’s two free throws with 1:58 to play. By then, the Tar Heels had gone more than 4 1/2 minutes without a field goal.

Hinson’s 3-pointer on the ensuing possession after a timeout put the Panthers back on top. A North Carolina turnover came before Hinson rebounded Burton’s missed jumper and then converted two free throws at the 36-second mark for a 72-67 lead.

After the Tar Heels built a 55-46 lead, the Panthers responded with a 10-2 run. Hinson and Cummings drilled 3-pointers during that rally.

North Carolina led 40-34 at halftime despite drawing only two fouls on the Panthers, who trailed by as many as nine points in the opening half. Five different Tar Heels hit at least one 3-point shot in the half.

Burton had 15 first-half points, helping negate the 10 points and nine rebounds from Bacot.

–Field Level Media