CORAL GABLES — The Tar Heels lead the nation in scoring and rebounding. They showed Miami they can be good on defense, too.
Sputtering on offense and evenly matched on the boards, No. 8 North Carolina used smothering defense to erase an eight-point deficit in the second half and beat the Hurricanes 73-64 Wednesday night.
The Tar Heels, who went in averaging 83.5 points, shot 38 percent and made 5 of 18 3-pointers. But they forced turnovers on four consecutive possessions in the second half to get back in the game, and held Miami (15-9, 6-5 ACC) without a point for nearly five minutes down the stretch.
"Defensively we can be a very good team," said center Tyler Zeller, who was held to nine points but made three steals. "We can win games in the 50's and 60's. And when we start making shots, hopefully we can win by a bigger margin."
North Carolina (22-4, 9-2) took a half-game lead over Duke and Florida State atop the ACC.
"It was one of those wins you have to have to have a fantastic year," coach Roy Williams said. "It was a tough win, it was an ugly win in some ways. To be able to grit it out defensively — we did some better things there."
NO. 3 MISSOURI 83, OKLA. ST. 65: Marcus Denmon scored 17 to lead five players in double figures as the host Tigers (24-2, 11-2 Big 12) avenged an earlier defeat.
NO. 16 MURRAY ST. 75, SE MISSOURI ST. 66: Donte Poole hit four 3-pointers and scored 25, and the visiting Racers (25-1, 13-1) clinched their third straight Ohio Valley Conference title.
NO. 18 INDIANA 71, N'WESTERN 66: Cody Zeller scored 23 and Verdell Jones had all six of his in the final 4:03 for the Hoosiers (20-6, 8-6 Big Ten), who are 15-1 at home and gave coach Tom Crean his first 20-win season in Bloomington.
NO. 23 NOTRE DAME 71, RUTGERS 53: Jack Cooley scored 17 of his 22 in the second half for the host Fighting Irish (18-8, 9-3 Big East), who won their seventh straight game.
NO. 24 WICHITA ST. 73, MISSOURI ST. 58: Seven-foot center Garrett Stutz hit four 3-pointers and scored 21 for the host Shockers (23-4, 14-2 Missouri Valley), who clinched at least a tie for the conference title.
ECKERD 73, TAMPA 51: Wayne Sears had 19 points to lead the visiting Tritons (18-5, 10-3 Sunshine State), who swept the season series from the Spartans (6-18, 2-12).
SAINT LEO 75, FLA. SOUTHERN 52: Marcus Ruh had 19 points and nine rebounds for the Lions (13-10, 7-6 SSC), who won their fourth straight, the past two on the road.
UCONN: Coach Jim Calhoun will miss at least two more games while he receives treatment for his ailing back, the school said. Calhoun sat out the past four games because of spinal stenosis.
TENNESSEE: Coach Cuonzo Martin suspended forward Kenny Hall indefinitely for "conduct detrimental to the team."
UNC 71, FSU 66: The host Seminoles (13-14, 5-8 ACC) couldn't complete a rally after cutting a 14-point second-half deficit to two with 20 seconds left. Laura Broomfield had 17 points for the Tar Heels (18-8, 8-5).
TAMPA 46, ECKERD 45: Kamari Smith hit two go-ahead free throws with 1:38 left, and the host Spartans (10-14, 3-11 Sunshine State) rallied past the Tritons (13-9, 6-7) to snap a four-game losing streak.
FLA. SOUTHERN 83, SAINT LEO 64: The visiting Moccasins hit 10 3-pointers. Sophomore Chelsea Connelly scored a career-high 21 for the Lions (7-16, 1-12 SSC).
NO. 1 BAYLOR 83, OKLA. ST. 52: Brittney Griner had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Kimetria Hayden scored a season-high 20 and the Bears (26-0, 13-0 Big 12) won in an arena where they have lost twice in four years.
NO. 5 DUKE 67, VA. TECH 45: Tricia Liston scored 17 for the host Blue Devils (22-3), 13-0 in ACC play for the fifth time.
W. VA. 60, NO. 21 RUTGERS 50: Christal Caldwell scored 16 as the host Mountaineers beat their second ranked team this week, rallying past the Scarlet Knights (17-7, 6-6 Big East).
NO. 4 NOTRE DAME: Coach Muffet McGraw said reserve guard Fraderica Miller is doing fine after spending the night in the university infirmary following a fainting spell.