No. 9 Tar Heels avenge loss, topping No. 15 Louisville, 79-69

North Carolina guard Kenny Williams (24) goes in for a layup over the defense of Louisville forward Dwayne Sutton (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. North Carolina won 79-69. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Luke Maye had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Cameron Johnson finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds Saturday, helping No. 9 North Carolina avenge a blowout loss with a 79-69 victory over No. 15 Louisville.

The victory came three weeks after the Tar Heels were pounded by 21 points by Louisville, their worst defeat at home under coach Roy Williams.

The Tar Heels (17-4, 7-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) returned the favor in the rematch and ended Louisville's six-game winning streak. They set the tone with a 22-4 first-half run over 8:34. It put them up 34-19 and gave them a lead they never lost against one of the league's co-leaders.

Johnson and Maye had 12 points apiece in the first half before Garrison Brooks (12 points) and Kenny Williams (10 points) contributed after halftime. UNC dominated the boards 49-32 for its fifth consecutive victory.

The Cardinals (16-6, 7-2) cut a 19-point deficit to 68-59 midway through the second half but came no closer. Dwayne Sutton had 19 points and Christen Cunningham 15 with nine assists for Louisville.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

North Carolina should move up a spot with the decisive win. Louisville will likely fall a few spots.

BIG PICTURE

North Carolina: The Tar Heels had their way in nearly every key statistic. They used their size to outrebound Louisville 18-7 offensively, which led to an 18-3 domination in second-chance points. The paint was all theirs as well (38-26).

Louisville: This wasn't how the Cardinals hoped to begin a brutal February against four consecutive ranked opponents. They missed 10 of 11 shots during one stretch in the first half and dug a double-digit hole. They were no match for the Heels inside.

UP NEXT

North Carolina visits No. 23 N.C. State on Tuesday, seeking a season sweep after winning last month's previous meeting 90-82.

Louisville visits No. 12 Virginia Tech on Monday night.