- Robbi Pickeral, College Basketball
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- A quick look at sixth-ranked North Carolina’s 83-74 win over Maryland at Comcast Center on Saturday:
What it means: It marked the Tar Heels’ first win at Comcast Center since 2006, and gives them a five-game winning streak entering a pivotal week in which they face two ranked teams, Duke followed by Virginia, at home.
How it happened: Leading 40-37 at halftime, Maryland opened the second half with an 8-2 run to earn its largest lead of the game, 48-39, on two Terrell Stoglin free throws. UNC countered with an 11-2 breakaway to tie it at 50, but it wasn’t until several minutes later that the Tar Heels -- with forward Tyler Zeller on the bench with four fouls -- took the lead on a Harrison Barnes 3-pointer. UNC led 59-57, with 8:34 left, when Marshall picked up his fourth foul, but he was on the bench barely a minute before he returned.
Zeller was back in the game, with 3:09 left, when Stoglin’s drive cut UNC’s lead to 70-69. Freshman P.J. Hairston scored the bench’s third bucket of the game on a putback, then John Henson scored on a putback to give his team a 74-70 cushion. After a Maryland free throw, Barnes buried a jumper with about a minute left that sealed the survival.
Zeller led the Tar Heels with 22 points, while Barnes added 18 and Henson had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Stoglin paced Maryland with 20 points.
Number to know: UNC’s bench scored only six points -- and only nine, combined, over the past two games.
Injury report: UNC forward Harrison Barnes, who sprained his left ankle Tuesday and was questionable for Saturday’s game, started and was pivotal for the Tar Heels. He pulled down eight rebounds to go with his 18 points.
What’s next: The Tar Heels will play Duke at the Smith Center on Wednesday. Maryland will play at Clemson on Tuesday.
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.