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Texas wins Maui Invitational over UNC behind buzzer-beaterr

Texas wins Maui Invitational over UNC behind buzzer-beaterr

It wasn’t a normal Maui Invitational, but No. 17 Texas is headed home from Asheville, North Carolina in style.

The Longhorns, thanks to a game-winner from Matt Coleman, knocked off No. 14 North Carolina 69-67 on Wednesday afternoon to claim the relocated Camping World Maui Invitational title.

“I give our guys credit for just hanging in there,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said, via CBS Austin’s Bob Ballou. “We were clearly fatigued … but if you’re a good team you’ve gotta find ways to win on a day like that and we did that.”

Matt Coleman hits game winner

With the game tied in the final seconds, Coleman dribbled out the clock before driving through the lane with about five seconds left.

As he got to the free throw line, Coleman stepped back and drilled the jumper, which lingered on the rim before falling through the hoop to give Texas the two-point lead.

Though North Carolina still had time left on the clock, the Longhorns held on to secure the tournament win and maintain their perfect record.

Coleman finished the day with a game-high 22 points and three assists while shooting 9-of-16 from the field. The senior was named the tournament’s most valuable player, too.

The Longhorns — who beat Indiana and Davidson to reach the title game — blew an early 16-point first half lead and fell behind in the final minutes, too. They ended the game on a 6-2 run after falling behind, however, and didn’t give up a field goal, either.

“We dug ourselves a big hole, not making free throws and turning the ball over in the first half,” said North Carolina coach Roy Williams, who is now just 1-8 in his career against Texas. “Second half I think we only had four turnovers, but we still missed three free throws in the last two minutes. At the end of a game, you have to make free throws and not turn it over … Texas, they play exceptionally hard.”

Courtney Ramey added 13 points for Texas, and Kai Jones finished with 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Garrison Brooks led North Carolina with 18 points and seven rebounds while shooting 7-of-12 from the field. R.J. Davis added 11 points for the Tar Heels, and Armando Bacot had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. They were the only three to score in double figures for North Carolina.

Texas will take on No. 12 Villanova next on Sunday, while the Tar Heels will square off against No. 3 Iowa in Iowa City next week.

Texas guard Matt Coleman III is hugged by teammates after Texas beat North Carolina 69-67 to win the the Maui Invitational on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Asheville, N.C. (AP/Kathy Kmonicek)

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Erin Clark

Erin is a sports enthusiast who loves indulging in occasional football matches. She is a passionate journalist who flaunts a perfect hold over the English language. She currently caters her skills for the sports and health section of Report Door.

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