CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Forward James Michael McAdoo scored 24 points, including a late-game scoring burst, as North Carolina held off No. 25 Pittsburgh, 75-71, on Saturday at the Smith Center, stretching its winning streak to six games. Pittsburgh forward Lamar Patterson missed a potential tying 3-pointer with eight seconds left. Guard Marcus Paige added 18 points and forward Brice Johnson provided 13 points and several momentum-turning blocked shots off the bench for North Carolina (17-7, 7-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference). Johnson made the clinching free throw after Patterson's misfire. Patterson scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half for Pittsburgh. Forward James Artis scored 13 points and guard James Robinson added 10 points for the Panthers (20-6, 8-5), who were coming off a heartbreaking 58-56 loss to top-ranked Syracuse three nights earlier. The Tar Heels had no shortage of energy, perhaps built up from a postponement against rival Duke a few nights earlier. Pittsburgh cut into a 61-49 deficit with five straight points before McAdoo's dunk at the 6:34 mark. Those were the Tar Heels' only points during a four-minute span as Pittsburgh closed to within 63-61. Down 68-65, twice the Panthers failed to convert on the offensive end. McAdoo had eight of North Carolina's nine points down the stretch before he fouled out with 25.6 seconds remaining. He also had a game-high 12 rebounds. Artis made three free throws in a four-second span to pull the Panthers to within 74-71. Pittsburgh regained possession when North Carolina knocked a rebound out of bounds, setting up the final chance for Patterson. Pittsburgh has lost four of its last six games, with the only victories during that stretch requiring overtime. The Panthers, whose previous five losses were by a combined 26 points, called two timeouts in the first 9:02 of the second half to try to stem the tide. Shortly thereafter, Paige's fifth 3-point basket of the game pushed the Tar Heels to a 56-46 lead. North Carolina posted a 35-31 halftime edge on the strength of McAdoo's 12 first-half points. Pittsburgh led most of the first half, holding a 20-13 advantage midway through the half. The Tar Heels broke a 29-29 tie on Paige's 4-point play with 1:49 to go. Pitt committed 10 turnovers in the opening half, almost reaching their average of 10.3 giveaways per game. Then the Panthers had a traveling violation on their first possession of the second half. NOTES: North Carolina is 4-1 against ranked teams this season, all of the previous victories before January. ... North Carolina has won eight of nine games between the programs, though this was the first meeting in 17 seasons. ... North Carolina freshman F Isaiah Hicks had been scoreless for four consecutive games until his thunderous dunk in transition during the Tar Heels' run late in the first half. ... This was the first of four games in eight days for North Carolina, a schedule that was altered with Wednesday night's postponement against Duke. That game was rescheduled for Thursday night, but first the Tar Heels head to Florida State for Monday night's game. ... Pittsburgh has an eight-day layoff before its final home game of the month when Florida State visits on Feb. 23.
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