• 68°

Paige returns and leads Tar Heels past Maryland

By Aaron Beard

AP Basketball Writer

CHAPEL HILL (AP) — Marcus Paige scored 20 points in his season debut following a hand injury to help No. 9 North Carolina beat No. 2 Maryland 89-81 on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Brice Johnson added 16 points for the Tar Heels (6-1), who shot 53 percent and repeatedly capitalized on Terrapins miscues to hang on in a tough matchup.

Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists to lead Maryland (6-1), which shot 51 percent but committed 22 turnovers that UNC converted into 21 points.

This was the headlining matchup for the interconference series, pitting two Atlantic Coast Conference charter members with Final Four aspirations. Paige and Trimble basically took this one over for much of the second half, putting on a show of high-level guard play to make this matchup worthy of the rankings.

Eventually, Paige and the Tar Heels — the preseason No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 before sliding with a loss at Northern Iowa — put together enough stops and key baskets to slowly stretch out the lead and wrestle away control in the final 7½ minutes.

Maryland missed eight of its last 10 shots as North Carolina slowly pushed a 74-72 lead back to double figures after blowing a 13-point first-half lead.

Paige finished with a 7-for-12 shooting performance and made 4 of 5 3-point tries to go with five assists and one turnover in 34 minutes, showing no ill effects from the broken bone in his right hand — an injury sustained in practice Nov. 3 — nor rust from missing the first six games.

He also came up with a big defensive play, drawing a charge on Trimble in transition after a turnover with 3:03 left and UNC protecting an 85-76 lead.

TIP-INS

Maryland: Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon, booed every time he touched the ball, scored 18 points with five 3-pointers. … Longtime former coach and Hall of Famer Gary Williams was in the stands and was introduced at halftime over the public-address system.

UNC: Joel Berry II finished with 14 points and five assists, making three 3s. … The Tar Heels made 9 of 13 3-pointers. … Rapper J.Cole, an instate native of Fayetteville, sat courtside.

UP NEXT

Maryland hosts St. Francis (Pennsylvania) on Friday.

UNC hosts Davidson on Sunday.

Comments

Local

Catawba holds baccalaureate services for Class of 2021

News

$9M settlement for two men wrongfully sent to death row

Nation/World

China lands spacecraft on Mars in latest advance for its space program

Business

Gas crunch hits Washington; Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in Bitcoin ransome

Coronavirus

State mostly returns to normal operations after 15 months of lockdowns, restrictions

Crime

Blotter: Man accused of stealing car, crashing it

Crime

Man faces new charge of attempted murder for father’s shooting

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

Crime

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday