North Carolina eventually dispatched Holy Cross, overcoming a sluggish first half to win, 62-54. The Tar Heels got 23 from starting point guard Marcus Paige and double digits from forward James Michael McAdoo.
After building a 15-4 lead in eight minutes of play, the Tar Heels went cold and allowed Holy Cross to tie the game at 25 entering the half. But a 12-0 second half run -- capped off by a Paige jumper -- was too much for Holy Cross to overcome.
UNC is still playing without leading scorer P.J. Hairston and guard Leslie McDonald, who are awaiting a decision from the NCAA on their eligibility. In their absence, Paige and freshman Nate Britt got the start in the backcourt.
Britt finished the game 0-of-5 from the field and missed both of his free throw attempts, clearly unable to replace Hairston's production. Brice Johnson had a nice game for UNC, scoring 12 points on 50 percent shooting.
North Carolina's next game comes Sunday against Belmont.