Late Rally Helps 9/8 UNC Past K-State, 80-70




5-1 (0-0 ACC)

4-1 (0-0 Big 12)

J. Jackson: 22 pts, 6 asts
K. Meeks: 15 pts, 3 rebs, 3 asts
B. Johnson: 10 pts, 10 rebs

K. Stokes: 24 pts, 3 rebs, 3 stls
J. Edwards: 10 pts, 7 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls
C. Ervin II: 8 pts, 3 rebs, 3 asts, 2 stls

North Carolina 30 50 80
K-State 32 38 70

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - No. 9/8 North Carolina used a late 14-1 run to rally past Kansas State, 80-70, and win the CBE Hall of Fame Classic Championship on Tuesday night before 13,189 at Sprint Center.

Leading 67-59 with 4:22 to play, the Wildcats (4-1) saw the Tar Heels (5-1) score nine of the next 10 points to tie the game at 68-all with 2:22 play then take the lead for good with seven in a row. The preseason No. 1 team in the country secured the championship from the line, knocking down 5-of-6 free throws in the last 41 seconds.

The Wildcats’ first loss of the season dampened a stellar night by freshman guard Kamau Stokes, who scored a game-high 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range. He became the fifth different player to lead K-State in scoring this season.

Stokes and senior Justin Edwards, who also scored in double figures with 10 points, were named to the CBE Hall of Fame Classic All-Tournament, along with North Carolina’s Justin Jackson and Brice Johnson and Northwestern’s Tre Demps. Jackson was selected as tournament most valuable player.

The Basics
Final Score: 9/8 North Carolina 80, Kansas State 70
Records: Kansas State 4-1, 0-0 Big 12 // North Carolina 5-1, 0-0 ACC
Attendance: 13,189
Next Game: Sunday, Nov. 29 \\ vs. South Carolina State \\ 2 p.m. CT \\ FOX Sports Kansas City

The Short Story
North Carolina outscored Kansas State, 21-3, in the final 4:22 of the contest to take the CBE Hall of Fame Classic Championship before 13,189 at Sprint Center on Tuesday night.
The team’s first loss spoiled an impressive night for Stokes, who collected his first career 20-point game with a game-high 24 points on 8-of-15 field goals, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range.
Stokes became the fifth different Wildcat to lead the team in scoring this season.
Edwards, who also scored in double figures, had a solid all-around night as he posted 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in new K-State career-high 34 minutes.
The Tar Heels connected on 46.8 percent (29-of-62) from the field, including 54.8 percent (17-of-31) in the second half, and went an impressive 80 percent (16-of-20) from the free throw line. 
The Wildcats shot just 40.3 percent (25-of-62) and 63.2 percent (12-of-19) from the free throw line.
K-State dropped its fifth row to North Carolina in the teams’ first meeting since 1989.

How It Happened | First Half
North Carolina jumped out to the early lead, scoring the first four points, and taking an 8-2 edge.
K-State used a 15-3 run to first take its first lead on a pair of free throws by Ervin at the 11:39 mark then extend the advantage to 17-11 on Edwards’ layup with 9:29 before halftime. 
The Tar Heels responded with a 9-0 spurt to retake the lead at 20-17 at the 7:35 mark.
With the Carolina lead at 24-19 with 6:11 before halftime, K-State got an 11-4 run to regain the lead at 30-28 on a pair of free throws by Edwards with a minute remaining.
Both teams traded points before halftime, as the Wildcats entered the locker room with a 32-30 edge.
K-State connected on 36.7 percent (11-of-30) in the first half, including 28.6 percent (2-of-7) from 3-point range, to go with 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from the free throw line. North Carolina made one field goal and connected on 38.7 percent (12-of-31), including 16.7 percent (2-of-12) from long range.
The Wildcats scored 12 points off turnovers in the opening half on 7 Tar Heel turnovers.
Stokes tied for the game-high with 9 points on 3-of-7 shooting, including a pair of treys, while Edwards added 8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in the opening half.

How It Happened | Second Half
The two teams went back and forth in the early going of the second half, battling through several ties before K-State used an 11-2 run to take a 53-48 lead with 9:53 to play.
UNC battled back to retake the lead at 54-53 on a 3-point play by Kennedy Meeks at the 8:06 mark.
However, a 3-pointer by Stokes ignited a 14-5 run by the Wildcats that gave them a 67-59 lead with 4:22 to play. During the stretch, freshman Dean Wade and senior Stephen Hurt each had 3-pointers.
The Tar Heels once again fought back to it at 68-all with 9-1 run with 2:22 to play then took the lead for good on a dunk by Meeks just 19 seconds later.
UNC shot 54.8 percent (17-of-31) in the second half and was 85.7 percent (12-of-14) from the line.
Stokes scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half on 5-of-8 shooting with four 3-pointers.

Beyond the Boxscore
North Carolina now leads the all-time series with K-State, 5-1, including a 5-0 mark at neutral sites.
K-State falls to 41-120 all-time vs. Top 10 teams, including 4-7 under head coach Bruce Weber.
K-State has a 12-11 record all-time at Sprint Center and move to 6-2 in CBE Classic play.
The Wildcats lost the tournament title for the second time, following a loss to Duke in 2010.
K-State fell to 0-4 in the Sprint Center when playing for a tournament championship, which includes the 2010 and 2013 Big 12 Championships and the 2010 CBE Classic title.
K-State lost the rebounding battle (43-30) for the first time this season.
The Wildcats have now had a different leading scorer in each of their five games.

“Obviously it’s a little disappointing,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “We told them we came here to win.  To learn about our team. We have a better team than we did a year ago. They enjoy each other, they’re coachable, they play hard. We competed with one of the best teams in the country down to the end. We had an eight point lead until the last TV timeout. The last 2-3 minutes they turned it up a notch and we got a little hesitant and made some mistakes. They hit some big shots. You have to give them a lot of credit. At the same time we broke down on some little things on the defensive end.”

Up Next
K-State returns home on Sunday with a matchup against South Carolina State (2-3) at 2 p.m. CT on Star Wars Day at Bramlage Coliseum. Tickets are available starting at $10, while fans can take advantage of the new Bramlage Bundle for just $20, which includes a general admission/bench ticket, $10 concessions voucher and a souvenir from the K-State Super Store. The contest will be televised on FOX Sports Kansas City (state of Kansas, Kansas City area), K-StateHD.TV and ESPN3 (outside of state of Kansas).