CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Garrison Brooks scored 30 points to help North Carolina end a seven-game losing streak with an 85-79 victory over North Carolina State on Tuesday night.
Cole Anthony had 19 points, five rebounds and five assists and reserve Christian Keeling scored 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting for the Tar Heels (11-17, 4-13 Atlantic Coast Conference), who swept the Wolfpack in the regular season and have won 32 of the past 36 meetings.
Markell Johnson scored 21 and had 10 assists for N.C. State (17-11, 8-9).
North Carolina erased a 52-45 deficit in the second half with a 22-4 run. Five different players scored, led by Keeling, who poured in eight points in about two minutes. When Brooks completed a three-point play with 8:33 remaining, the Tar Heels had a 67-56 lead, their largest margin of the night.
In the first half, the Wolfpack hit their first four shots and forced North Carolina into five turnovers in the first eight possessions while racing to a 13-2 lead. Johnson led the charge, scoring eight points in the first 2 ½ minutes.
But he cooled off (4 of 9 at halftime), and no one could stop Brooks (13 points at halftime) inside. Four N.C. State players had two fouls at halftime. UNC shot 12 free throws, and N.C. State attempted four, a key factor in UNC’s 40-37 halftime lead.
N.C. State: The loss hampered the Wolfpack’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament as an at-large selection. N.C. State fell to 8-9 in the ACC.
North Carolina: It’s been a season of discontent for the Tar Heels, NCAA Tournament regulars under Roy Williams. But this win was sweet because it ended a long losing streak and came against a rival. In the 17-season Williams era, UNC’s longest losing streak before this year was four games in the 2009-10 season.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack plays Saturday at home against Pittsburgh.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels visit Syracuse on Saturday.
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