Tar Heels roll snake eyes in Vegas, fall to Runnin’ Rebs

They say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. That rule also applies to North Carolina’s No. 1 ranking and undefeated season.

Mike Moser turned in a dominant effort with 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds as UNLV stunned No.1 North Carolina 90-80 in the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitational on Saturday.

Chace Stanback added a career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds to complement Moser’s fourth double-double of the season for the Rebels (7-0), who defeated the Tar Heels (5-1) for the first time in four meetings.

This week figured to provide a litmus test for North Carolina, which will attempt to rebound when it hosts undefeated Wisconsin on Wednesday before its showdown at No. 2 Kentucky next Saturday.

The Tar Heels took a four-point lead into the break but settled for a number of quick jumpers to open second half, missing their first nine shots and allowing the Rebels to score 12 unanswered points that brought the pro-UNLV crowd to life.

While North Carolina settled for poor shots and struggled once again from the foul line throughout the final 20 minutes, UNLV routinely used crisp passing and its drive-and-dish offensive attack to free its shooters up from the 3-point line – where it went 13-of-32 – to stretch the lead to 14 points with 5:40 remaining.

The Tar Heels, who shot 31 percent in the second half, could get no closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Freshman guard P.J. Hairston and Harrison Barnes paced North Carolina with 15 points apiece.

 

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