PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Cole Anthony hit a driving layup and four key free throws in the final 64 seconds to help No. 6 North Carolina hold off No. 11 Oregon 78-74 in Friday’s third-place game at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The freshman point guard had a baseline drive past Will Richardson with the Tar Heels protecting a one-point lead. He then hit four straight free throws to protect the lead in a game that went down to the final seconds.
Senior Brandon Robinson followed with the final free throws with 0.8 seconds left to seal it, giving the Tar Heels (6-1) a needed bounce-back effort after Thursday’s loss to Michigan.
Anthony finished with 19 points despite sitting for a chunk of the second half after picking up his fourth foul to help guide the Tar Heels to the finish, though it was fellow freshman Armando Bacot with a strong overall performance that led the way.
Bacot had 23 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks for UNC.
Payton Pritchard had 19 points to lead Oregon (6-2), which nearly erased a third double-digit deficit in the tournament in as many days. But this time, Pritchard couldn’t connect on a tying 3 and the Tar Heels hit enough free throws down the stretch to close it out.
Oregon: The Ducks had a wild first two tournament days. First, they came from 19 down after halftime to beat No. 13 Seton Hall. Then they rallied from 17 down before losing in overtime against No. 8 Gonzaga. They trailed for much of this one and fell behind by 10 with about five minutes left, then made one more tough climb back that fell a little short.
UNC: The Tar Heels won their tournament opener against Alabama but struggled with Michigan’s size in a semifinal loss, prompting coach Roy Williams to say the team’s 5-0 start hasn’t been a “very good 5-0 compared to the way I think we should play and could play.” They responded with a strong first half against Oregon, then hung on for a tough win.
Oregon: The Ducks host Hawaii on Dec. 7.
UNC: The Tar Heels host No. 10 Ohio State on Wednesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
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