EditorsNote: updates second graf with Friday matchups
Kerwin Roach II scored a career-high 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting as Texas outlasted No. 7 North Carolina 92-89 on Thursday in the opening round of the Las Vegas Invitational.
Jaxson Hayes added 15 points, including a pair of crucial free throws with 21 seconds left, to help Texas advance to a championship showdown Friday against No. 11 Michigan State. The Tar Heels will oppose No. 17 UCLA in the consolation game.
The Longhorns (5-0) led by as many as 11 points with 11 minutes to play before the Tar Heels (5-1) charged back and pulled to within 87-85 on two free throws by Coby White with 2:14 remaining.
The Longhorns were up 90-85 after Hayes’ foul shots.
A 3-pointer by Nassir Little cut the deficit to 91-89 with five seconds left, but Texas’ Jase Febres made one of two from the foul line with two seconds to play, and North Carolina couldn’t get off a final shot.
Matt Coleman III added 16 for the Longhorns, while Dylan Osetkowski scored 14.
White led all scorers with 33 points, with Cameron Johnson hitting for 16 and Little and Luke Maye adding 11 points each for the Tar Heels.
North Carolina rolled out to a 17-4 lead after a layup by Johnson with 15:27 to play in the first half. However, the Longhorns ran off 12 of the next 16 points, capped by a 3-pointer by Coleman at the 10:40 mark, to pull back to within 19-16.
A layup by Osetkowski off a steal by Febres allowed Texas a 29-28 advantage with 5:27 remaining in the half, but the Tar Heels scored the next eight points to create a 36-29 cushion. Texas closed the half on a 14-6 run, taking a 43-42 lead into intermission after a 3-pointer by Osetkowski at the buzzer.
The Longhorns quickly built a 51-44 advantage after a Coleman jumper just 1:39 into the second half, but North Carolina answered Texas’ surge with one of its own, pulling within 54-53 at the 14:51 mark.
—Field Level Media