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North Carolina gets back on track by downing BC

Feb 8, 2015 - 1:53 AM Chestnut Hill, MA ( - Isaiah Hicks posted 21 points while Brice Johnson netted 20 points and 10 rebounds as No. 12 North Carolina got past Boston College, 79-68, at Conte Forum.

Marcus Paige added 13 with seven boards and four assists for the Tar Heels (18-6, 8-3 ACC), who rebounded nicely after losing to Louisville and Virginia.

"We switched rotation with our bigs because we saw some things and we thought we could take advantage of it with Brice and Isaiah at the same time," Paige said.

Olivier Hanlan's season-high 30 points weren't nearly enough for the Eagles (9-13, 1-9), who skidded to their fourth straight loss and sixth in seven games. Aaron Brown posted 18 points and six rebounds in defeat.

Johnson's layup with just under nine minutes remaining capped an 18-7 burst from the Tar Heels and left them ahead 60-47. Hicks scored five points during the clip.

But the hosts kept battling and eventually worked their deficit down to 71-66 with 3:08 remaining on a Dennis Clifford slam. Hicks countered for UNC, then Hanlan converted two free throws, but after Paige made a layup for a 75-68 game, Boston College missed four shots from beyond the arc in a vain attempt at a comeback.

"The last five minutes is a byproduct of how much work you put in," he said. "It's a byproduct of you not wanting to lose," noted BC head coach Jim Christian.

BC led 7-2 early on, but North Carolina turned the tables with a quick 7-0 surge and led 11-9 less than 6 1/2 minutes in.

Brown later hit a trey and Hanlan converted a three-point play to put the hosts up 23-17, yet the Tar Heels struck back with nine in a row to go up by three.

Hanlan's three and back-to-back buckets by Brown staked the Eagles to a 34-30 edge before Hicks and J.P. Tokoto went 4-for-4 from the line to forge a 36-36 deadlock at intermission.

Game Notes

North Carolina has won six straight meetings with Boston College and improved to 5-1 in Chestnut Hill ... Hanlan posted his third career game of 30-or-more points ... UNC claimed a 46-32 edge on points in the paint ... BC scored 22 points off 14 Tar Heel turnovers.