North Carolina vs. Holy Cross final score: Tar Heels overcome cold shooting, win 62-54

Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

With P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald still not eligible to play, sophomore Marcus Paige led the way for UNC with 23 points.

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.

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