North Carolina got back on the right track Saturday, holding off Richmond 82-72 behind 26 points from Marcus Paige. The Tar Heels were coming off last Sunday's loss to Belmont, dropping them to the bottom of the college basketball rankings. Paige and sophomore forward Brice Johnson did most of the scoring, with Johnson chipping in 24 points and 12 rebounds.
The game nearly got out of hand early, with Richmond taking a 17-8 lead after a pair of baskets from Alonzo Nelson-Ododa. But UNC ripped off a 13-4 run capped by three free throws from Paige, who was fouled on a shot attempt from behind the arc. The rest of the game was tightly contested, until consecutive baskets by Paige and Johnson gave the Tar Heels what turned out to be an insurmountable ten-point lead with under four minutes to play.
No. 3 Louisville 71, Fairfield 57: Russ Smith and Montrezl Harrell continued their assault on the college basketball landscape. Louisville's 1-2 punch helped Rick Pitino's squad cruise past Fairfield on Saturday in the second semi-final of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. Harrell notched his first double-double of the season, grabbing 13 rebounds to go with his 14 points. Smith added 10 points, well shy of his season average of 18.8. The Cardinals take on North Carolina in Sunday's tournament final.
No. 23 Creighton 82, Tulsa 72: Doug McDermott dropped 33 points for Creighton as the Bluejays pulled away from Tulsa in the second half. Creighton led by just one after twenty minutes of play, but made its first six shots of the second half and never looked back. McDermott scored 21 in the latter period to go along with 15 total rebounds, the first double-double of his senior season. The undefeated Bluejays face their toughest challenge of the season next week, playing on the road at Arizona State on Thanksgiving Day.