CHAPEL HILL — RJ Davis scored a career-high 26 points, and No. 19 North Carolina battled through 40 minutes of relentless competition from Brown, outlasting the Ivy League foe 94-87 on Friday night.
Armando Bacot had 22 points on 10-of-11 shooting and 10 rebounds for the Tar Heels (2-0), who trailed by as many as seven points and never led by more than eight.
“I wouldn’t have asked for any type of different turnout. I felt like, today, we grew a lot as a team,” Bacot said. “It was good to just be in a dogfight early on in the season, that way, later on, we’ll kind of have some experience in those types of situations.”
North Carolina trailed by two with 7:14 remaining before Davis powered an 18-9 run, making four 3-pointers and a pair of free throws in the burst. He finished 9 of 17 from the floor and 6 of 9 from 3-point range.
“I just played from the flow of the game,” Davis said. “I didn’t really think about them trying to disrespect me or whatever.”
Dan Friday had 21 points and five assists for Brown, which built its biggest advantage late in the first half and led 50-47 at halftime. Nana Owusu-Anane scored 20 points for the Bears.
“(Friday) played with great pace. He had command of the ball,” Brown coach Mike Martin said. “Obviously, our offense, we couldn’t keep up that pace for 40 minutes. We fouled too much, we got hurt inside.”
Both teams shot better than 50% from the floor.
Brady Manek came off the bench to score 14 points for North Carolina, and Caleb Love added 13 points, including two free throws with 27 seconds remaining that sealed the win.
In coach Hubert Davis’ second game as the Tar Heels’ coach, his team showed it could hold off a persistent opponent.
“I was very proud of them, how they responded. Brown was a very good team; played extremely well. And we didn’t panic,” Davis said. “Everybody that played in the game made a play that helped our team win.”
UNC plays its first road game of the season at the College of Charleston on Tuesday.
Wake Forest 87, Western Carolina 75
WINSTON-SALEM — Alondes Williams had a career-high 32 points as Wake Forest defeated Western Carolina 87-75 on Friday night.
Daivien Williamson had 24 points for Wake Forest (2-0). Cameron Hildreth added 13 points. Jake LaRavia had six steals.
Travion McCray had 21 points and six rebounds for the Catamounts (1-1). Tyler Harris added 13 points. Marvin Price had 10 points. Nick Robinson had 9 points and 10 rebounds.
East Carolina 83, Canisius 71
GREENVILLE — Brandon Suggs and Tristen Newton scored 14 points apiece as East Carolina defeated Canisius 83-71 on Friday night.
Tremont Robinson-White added 12 points for the Pirates, while Alanzo Frink and Brandon Johnson each had 11. Newton also had seven rebounds and six assists, while Robinson-White posted six assists.
Armon Harried had 18 points for the Golden Griffins (0-2). Siem Uijtendaal added 15 points. Jacco Fritz had 10 points and five assists.
Elon 107, Randolph 62
ELON — Kris Wooten came off the bench to knock down 6 of 7 3-point attempts and his 18 points helped spark Elon to a 107-62 romp past Division III Randolph College on Friday night.
Zac Ervin, Hunter McIntosh, Torrence Watson and Hunter Woods each scored 15 points for the Phoenix (1-1). Michael Graham pulled down 10 rebounds.
Jordan Phillips-McLoyd scored 22 points to lead the Wildcats.
Charlotte 76, South Carolina Upstate 64
CHARLOTTE — Jahmir Young had 25 points as Charlotte got past South Carolina Upstate 76-64 on Friday night.
Young shot 8 for 10 from the foul line.
Robert Braswell IV had 17 points for Charlotte (2-0). Austin Butler added 16 points.
Bryson Mozone had 21 points for the Spartans (0-2). Jordan Gainey added 11 points. Mysta Goodloe had 10 points.
UNC Greensboro 70, Northern Kentucky 69 (OT)
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — Mohammed Abdulsalam had 13 points as UNC Greensboro narrowly defeated Northern Kentucky 70-69 in overtime on Friday night.
De’Monte Buckingham had 11 points and six rebounds for UNC Greensboro (2-0). Khyre Thompson added 11 rebounds.
Trevon Faulkner tied a career high with 28 points for the Norse (1-1). Marques Warrick added 14 points. Bryson Langdon had 10 points.
UNC Wilmington 77, Guilford 68
WILMINGTON — Shykeim Phillips had 15 points as UNC Wilmington beat Guilford 77-68 on Friday night.
Jaylen Sims had 13 points and eight rebounds for UNC Wilmington (1-1). Jaylen Fornes added 11 points. James Baker Jr. had seven rebounds.
Liam Ward had 23 points for the Quakers. Julius Burch added 14 points and 12 rebounds. Jaylen Gore had 10 points and eight assists.
Appalachian State 69, East Tennessee St. 67
BOONE — Justin Forrest hit a pair of free throws with ten seconds left to lift Appalachian State to a 69-67 win over East Tennessee State on Friday night.
Ty Brewer, who pulled the Buccaneers even at 65-65 on a dunk with 1:14 left, missed a 3-point attempt to take the lead with 4 seconds left. Forrest answered with two free throws with 51 seconds remaining to take a 67-65 lead. Ledarrius Brewer’s jumper following an ETSU timeout got the Buccaneers even with 36 seconds left.
Adrian Delph had 19 points and seven rebounds to lead Appalachian State (1-1). Donovan Gregory had 12 points and seven rebounds and James Lewis Jr. added eight rebounds.
David Sloan had 15 points and eight assists for the ETSU (0-1). Brewer added 13 points and Brewer had 12 points and eight rebounds.
Northwestern 95, High Point 60
EVANSTON, Ill. — Pete Nance scored 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and sparked a big run to open the second half as Northwestern turned back High Point 95-60 Friday night.
Nance, the son of 13-year NBA veteran Larry Nance, scored 14 points in a 19-7 run to open the second half and the Wildcats turned a one-point halftime lead into a 53-40 advantage and never looked back. Nance hit 8 of 13 shots from the floor. He was 2 of 5 from beyond the 3-point line, hitting both in the pivital run. Nance added four assists.
Ryan Young sank all eight of his shots from the floor and hit 4 of 4 at the free-throw line, scoring 20 for Northwestern (2-0). Boo Buie added 19 points and seven assists, while Ryan Greer scored 15 on 6-of-6 shooting — sinking all three of his 3s. The Wildcats shot 61.4% from the floor (35 of 57) and 40% from distance (8 of 20).
John-Michael Wright paced the Panthers (1-1), who trailed 34-33 at halftime, with 23 points and nine assists. Jaden House had 11 points, while Zach Austin scored 10. High Point made just 21 of 59 shots (35.6%), including 7 of 27 from distance (25.9%).
With the victory, the Wildcats are now 191-93 when facing an opponent for the first time.