CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Luke Maye scored 26 points to help No. 19 North Carolina beat Pittsburgh 96-65 on Saturday night, ending its first three-game losing streak in four years.
The Tar Heels (17-7, 6-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) found themselves in a close game late in the first half with a team that had yet to win a league game, but they blew it open with a big run spanning halftime.
Graduate transfer Cameron Johnson scored eight points against his former team in UNC’s 14-3 half-ending flurry, which grew to 25-5 when Joel Berry II hit his fourth 3-pointer for a 56-37 lead with 16:48 left.
Freshman Marcus Carr scored 22 points for the Panthers (8-16, 0-11), who hit eight first-half 3s to hang around but made 2 of 16 after halftime as the Tar Heels’ lead ballooned.
That sent Pitt to its 11th straight loss, the longest skid in program history.
Pittsburgh: Things just keep getting worse for the Panthers. They entered Chapel Hill ranked last in the league in major categories such as scoring offense, shooting percentage, rebounding margin and turnover margin. Now they’ve lost 15 straight regular-season ACC games and are approaching a year since their last win.
UNC: The Tar Heels were facing the possibility of their first four-game losing streak since February 2010, the only one of the Roy Williams era. And the past week in particular had been bumpy: There was an overtime home loss to North Carolina State last weekend, a loss at No. 20 Clemson on Tuesday and the suspension of freshman guard Jalek Felton from the university for unspecified reasons. This win — a relatively easy get-right cruise in front of a friendly home crowd — might have helped drain a bit of the tension that had built during the skid.