RJ Davis amassed 19 points, four rebounds and four assists to lead North Carolina to a 77-66 victory over Florida State on Monday night at Tallahassee, Fla.
The Tar Heels (19-11, 11-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their third consecutive game and secured another much-needed victory as they try to bolster their case to make the NCAA Tournament field.
Davis was one of four North Carolina players to score in double figures as the Tar Heels were forced to hold off a resilient effort by Florida State (9-21, 7-12).
North Carolina led 20-19 before the Tar Heels closed out the final seven minutes of the half on a 23-6 run for an 18-point halftime lead.
However, the Seminoles, who were coming off the largest comeback in ACC history on Saturday when they erased a 25-point second-half deficit to beat then-No. 13 Miami, rallied again on Monday.
The Seminoles took advantage of 14 turnovers by the Tar Heels and outscored them 32-14 in the paint, finally cutting the deficit to single digits with 4:31 left on a Baba Miller fastbreak layup.
Florida State cut the deficit to 66-62 with 2:10 left, but then the Tar Heels’ Leaky Black faked a 3-point shot and then drove and dunked. Davis subsequently pulled up for another basket, extending the lead back to eight with 51 seconds left.
Black totaled 18 points and nine rebounds for the Tar Heels. Pete Nance hit four free throws down the stretch and finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Caleb Love had 16 points, four rebounds and four assists for North Carolina.
The Tar Heels prevailed despite a poor offensive performance from Armando Bacot, who was held scoreless until he made one of two free throws with 26.1 seconds left to help seal the win. Bacot did pull down eight rebounds.
Caleb Mills had 19 points and six rebounds for the Seminoles. Matthew Cleveland, who hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer against Miami, finished with 12 points and nine rebounds against North Carolina.
–Field Level Media