Tar Heels halt No. 20 UNLV's winning streak
Chapel Hill, NC (Sports Network) - Dexter Strickland scored 16 points to lead North Carolina in a 79-73 victory over No. 20 UNLV on Saturday.
P.J. Hairston gave 15 points to go with four steals, James Michael McAdoo added 13 points and nine rebounds while Marcus Paige finished with 12 points for the Tar Heels (10-3), who have won five of six.
Anthony Bennett posted 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Anthony Marshall and Katin Reinhardt each gave 15 points as well for the Rebels (11-2), who had a nine-game winning streak stopped.
North Carolina came out strong and held a 19-6 lead after nine minutes when J.P. Tokoto tipped in a Paige miss.
A 7-2 run a few minutes later got UNLV back to within seven points after Reinhardt buried a 3-pointer, but North Carolina answered with the next seven points and eventually took a 39-30 lead into the break.
The Rebels went on a 15-4 run early in the second half and took their first lead of the game when Reinhardt put in a 3-ball for a 49-48 lead six minutes in.
North Carolina, though, countered with the next six points to take the lead back.
UNLV stuck with it and made it a 1-point game several times, but was unable to climb the hump.
After Khem Birch put in a layup to get the Rebels a point back at 64-63 with 7 1/2 to play, the Tar Heels scored the next five points with a Hairston free throw giving the team a 69-63 lead with under six minutes to play.
A Marshall layup with under a minute left made it a 75-71 game, but North Carolina was able to hit its free throws the rest of the way for the win.
UNC has won four of the five games against UNLV ... UNLV hosts Chicago State on Thursday ... North Carolina has off until next Sunday when it will play in Virginia ... North Carolina shot 50.9 percent while UNLV hit 45.8 percent of its shots.
12/29 16:51:12 ET