Kerwin Roach II of Texas, left, catches a rebound on Luke Maye of North Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Thursday, November 22, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo / John Locher) The Associated Press
By ADAM SOBOLESKI, Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Kerwin Roach II combined aggression and good decision-making, as coached by coach Shaka Smart.
Roach scored 32 points, the best mark of his career, and helped Texas retain a late charge to beat No. 7 North Carolina 92-89 on Thursday and advance to the final of the Las Vegas Invitational.
"I just played the game the right way and did not want to force anything," said Roach, who also had seven badists and six steals. "(My teammates) did a good job creating shots, we have a team of workers, we have to fight to win, last year, when we lost a game to Duke, it was tears of sadness, tonight, there are tears. . "
Texas (5-0) plays Friday in the championship game against the winner of Thursday's cup between Michigan State No. 11 and UCLA No. 17. North Carolina plays the loser.
Roach also had six rebounds and was 12 of 15 from the field, including 3 of 3 from the depth. The senior outperformed his previous best of 26 points with an emphatic finish with 8:27 remaining for a 73-65 advantage.
"The best thing about him tonight was that he really took the right shots and did the right readings," Smart said. "He really made us go after a slow start, they came to us, they're not going to stop shooting the lights unless we do them."
Roach and the freshman of North Carolina, Coby White, came and went every game. White scored 33 points, but missed a triple that would have put the Tar Heels (5-1) ahead with 1:01 to play. It was 7 out of 10 from the 3 point range.
White had the most points for a UNC freshman since Harrison Barnes 40 in 2011 against Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
Matt Coleman III had 16 points for Texas, and Jaxson Hayes had 15 points and nine rebounds. Dylan Osetkowski had 14 points, including a 3 that beat the bell that put Texas up 43-42 at halftime.
"Our guys did a good job of managing the game against their defense trap," Smart said. "I told the guys at halftime, we have to be the most team, we have to be brave, basketball is not going to be beautiful, we have to find a way to go and get those loose balls."
Cameron Johnson had 16 points for the Tar Heels. Luke Maye had 11 points and nine rebounds, while Nbadir Little had 11 points and six rebounds.
"In the first half, we took four free throws and started throwing 3-pointers and threw the ball out of bounds," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "In the second half, I think our boys competed much more."
The Longhorns moved away after halftime and led by 11 with 11:08 to play. North Carolina responded by cutting it 80-78 with 5:44 left.
The Longhorns have had success against the Tar Heels, leading 8-3 in the all-time series. They also won the previous meeting in December 2015 in Austin, Texas.
DO NOT. 6 NEVADA 96, TULSA 86
Jordan Caroline had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 6 Nevada beat Tulsa to reach the final of the other Las Vegas Invitational stage.
Nevada (5-0) will face Mbadachusetts on Friday night.
Caleb Martin added 21 points for the Manada de Lobos, achieving 10 of his free throws. Jazz Johnson had 20 points in 5 of 7 shots from 3 points.
Sterling Taplin the golden hurricane (4-1) with 22 points, and Martins Igbanu added 14.
Nevada finally retired with about 10 minutes remaining in the game, building an 80-62 lead with 9:30 remaining. Tulsa cut it to 88-79 with 3:48 remaining.
UMASS 84, ILLINOIS DEL SUR 62
Luwane Pipkins scored 15 points and UMbad ran to a 16-2 lead in a victory over southern Illinois to establish a confrontation against Nevada.
Carl Pierre added 14 points, and Curtis Cobb had 11. The Minutemen scored 15 three-pointers, one less than the school record.
Eric McGill led Southern Illinois (2-3) with 18 points, and Kavion Pippen added 12.
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