University of North Carolina Athletics

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—RJ Davis set career highs with seven three-pointers and 42 points as ninth-ranked North Carolina held on for a 75-71 home win over Miami on Monday night.
Adding six rebounds in his most dominant performance in a career-best season, Davis posted his third 30-point game in 2023-24 (and his fourth career). He broke Tyler Hansbrough’s Smith Center scoring record of 40 set against Georgia Tech in 2006.
It was the most points by a Tar Heel in any game since Shammond Williams had 42 in double overtime at Georgia Tech on February 8, 1998, and the most in a regulation game since Charlie Scott had 43 against Wake Forest on January 17, 1970.

Davis was the only Tar Heel to score in double figures. Harrison Ingram recorded eight points and 10 rebounds, and Armando Bacot added five points and 12 boards.

“For me to have a performance like that tonight means the world to me,” Davis said to a throng of reporters afterward. “I’m just locked in. I’m confident in myself and in my shot. I’m also getting open. My teammates are doing a great job of setting screens and finding me to make these shots. Once I get in my groove like that, it feels like I can’t miss. I actually feel like I could have had 50, but I missed free throws and whatnot. I just felt good. The ball felt good, the shots felt good, everything felt great tonight.”

No matter how impressive, Davis’ heroics almost weren’t enough.


UNC led by 13 with 3:45 remaining in the second half before Miami used an 11-0 run to pull within two at 72-70 in the final minute. Carolina shot just 12 for 21 from the free throw line, missing several key attempts in the tense final minutes.

In the end, Jae’Lyn Withers sealed the win when he rebounded a missed free throw by Seth Trimble with 2.6 seconds left and hit two free throws of his own.

“J-Wit had to step up and make two free throws,” Tar Heel head coach Hubert Davis said. “J-Wit and Harrison [Ingram] kept the ball alive on free throws. Those are the little things that we talk about on a daily basis that make big things happen.”

UNC improved to 22-6 overall and 14-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference with the victory, maintaining its perch atop the conference standings.

“That was a valiant effort on our part, but RJ Davis had the answer every time we made a run,” Miami head coach Jim Larranaga said. “He’s a fantastic player.”

Carolina, which beat Miami, 75-72, in Coral Gables on Feb. 10, swept the season series with the Hurricanes. The Tar Heels moved to 12-1 at home this season and 39-6 in three seasons under Hubert Davis.


Miami lost its seventh consecutive game and its 10th in 13 outings, falling to 15-14 (6-12 ACC).


Davis scored 21 of his points in the first half, outscoring the rest of his teammates, 21-16. He grabbed six rebounds to give him 502 in his career. He is the first player in UNC history to compile 1,800 points, 200 three-pointers, 500 rebounds and 300 assists in a career.

“That might be the best performance I have ever seen by anyone on my team,” Ingram said of Davis’ effort.

Davis outscored all other Tar Heels, 42-33, in the game. It was the first time a Carolina player outscored the rest of his teammates since January 29, 1983, when Michael Jordan scored a career-high 39 of UNC’s 72 points vs. Georgia Tech.

“What he did tonight, he’s been doing all season,” Hubert Davis offered. “He put the team on his back. It wasn’t just points. I thought he was great defensively. He took care of the basketball, distributed, rebounded and boxed out. And, of course, we needed every bit of his 42 tonight.”



How It Happened

First Half

• After missing 13 of 14 field goal attempts in Saturday’s win at Virginia, Davis made his first two tries before the game’s first media timeout and started the game 3 for 3.

• Davis scored 18 of UNC’s first 30 points and finished with 21 in the half.

• The Hurricanes hit 8 of 13 first-half three-point attempts (61.5 percent). The Tar Heels, meanwhile, were 5 for 14 from behind the arc in the opening 20 minutes, including 3 of 4 by Davis.

• Miami shot 4 for 19 from two-point range prior to halftime.

• The Tar Heels hit five of their last six shot attempts, shot 46.9 percent overall and posted a 20-8 edge in points in the paint in the half.

• Bacot had just two field goal attempts and two points in 17 first-half minutes.


Second Half

• Carolina scored back-to-back buckets coming out of the break to take a 41-32 lead and force a quick Hurricane timeout with 19:16 to go.

• Despite Davis’ big day, the Tar Heels could not put the Hurricanes away. Miami hit six second-half three-pointers and had three different players connect at least four times from behind the arc.

• Miami went on an 11-0 run to cut the lead to 72-70 in the final minute of play.


Postgame Tidbits & Notes

• After a week off between the wins over Virginia Tech (Feb. 17) and at Virginia (Feb. 24), the Tar Heels played their second game in three days.

• The game was Hubert Davis‘ 100th as the Tar Heel head coach. He is 71-29 and has the fourth-most wins among UNC coaches in their first 100 games.

• Carolina is 28-10 all-time against Miami. That includes a 21-9 series advantage since the Hurricanes joined the ACC and a 13-5 edge in Chapel Hill.

• Miami hit 14 three-pointers and 10 two-pointers in the game. The ‘Canes were 14 for 30 from three-point range (46.7 percent) but 10 for 31 from two-point range (32.3 percent).

• Davis posted his 18th 20-point game of the season, the most games with 20+ by a Tar Heel since Justin Jackson had 19 during the NCAA championship of 2016-17. Carolina is 13-5 when Davis scores 20 or more.

• Davis scored 21 points in each half and has four 20-point halves this season. He had 21 against Arkansas in the second half and 23 in second half against Wake Forest.

• Davis outscored the rest of UNC in the first half (21-16), marking the second-straight game and third time this season a Tar Heel has outscored the rest of UNC in the first half (Cormac Ryan outscored UNC in the first half against Virginia, Davis out-scored UNC in the first half against UConn).

• It was Davis’ third game this season with 10+ field goals, his ninth game with 25+ points and his third with 30 or more.

• Davis has led UNC in scoring 20 times this season, and UNC is 15-5 in those games.

• Davis is the seventh Tar Heel to score 42 or more points in a game (joins Scott, Williams, Bobby Lewis, George Glamack, Lennie Rosenbluth and Billy Cunningham).

• Bacot made his 103rd consecutive start and grabbed 12 rebounds. He has 1,628 career boards and passed Louisville’s Charlie Tyra (1,617) for 12th place in history.

• Davis shot 14 for 22 from the floor and the rest of the UNC team was 13 for 39 (33.3 percent).

• UNC has won 12 games in a row when leading at halftime and is 52-5 under head coach Hubert Davis when leading at the break.

• Carolina has out-rebounded its opponents 17 consecutive times and is 14-3 in those games.

• The UNC defense has held opponents below 40 percent shooting in 30 of 56 halves and 13 of 28 games this season.

Up Next

Carolina will continue its three-game homestand when it hosts NC State in the Smith Center on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Follow Tar Heel basketball on X at @UNC_Basketball and @UNCMBBstats and on Instagram at UNC_Basketball.


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