Notre Dame stages major comeback, beats North Carolina 77-76

North Carolina coach Roy Williams reacts during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Georgia Tech in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Nate Laszewski swished a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds to go as Notre Dame stormed back from a 15-point second-half deficit for a 77-76 victory over beleaguered North Carolina on Monday night.

Laszewski took a kick-out pass to the left wing off of Rex Pflueger’s offensive rebound for the game-winner.

Prentiss Hubb scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half and dealt eight assists for the Fighting Irish (16-10, 7-8 Atlantic Coast Conference), who trailed 64-49 with 8:37 remaining.

T.J. Gibbs added 14 points, John Mooney picked up his nation-leading 21st double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Laszewski scored 11 points.

Freshman Cole Anthony scored 23 points and dished six assists for the Tar Heels (10-16, 3-12), but air-balled a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left and his team leading 76-74.

Garrison Brooks added 22 points and seven rebounds for Carolina, which lost a season-high sixth straight game. Five of those six losses have come by a combined 12 points.

BIG PICTURE

North Carolina: The ACC cellar-dwelling Heels continued to careen toward potentially their first losing record since 2001-02, when they were 8-20 during the middle season of ex-ND coach Matt Doherty’s three-year tenure. With five regular-season games left, they’ll have to win all of those and win at least twice in the ACC Tourney to avoid a sub-.500 fate.

Notre Dame: The Irish are in a bona fide position to win at least four of their remaining five regular-season games, which would give them a 20-victory season heading into the ACC Tourney and a fighting shot at an NCAA Tournament bid. Four of those five will be against teams that are below .500 in the league and the fifth is a home contest against No. 8 Florida State.

UP NEXT

North Carolina: The Heels visit No. 11 Louisville on Saturday in the lone regular-season meeting between the teams.

Notre Dame: After playing four games in nine days, the Irish are now off until hosting Miami Sunday.