Thanks to a stellar performance from senior guard Kerwin Roach II, Texas pulled off a 92-89 upset of No. 7 North Carolina in the Las Vegas Invitational on Thursday.
Roach came out hot in the first half, scoring 18 points of his career-high 32 while shooting 6-for-8 from the field to help the Longhorns build a 43-42 lead at the break. He also chipped in five assists to help his squad overcome an early 17-4 hole.
While Roach propelled Texas, Coby White kept the Tar Heels in the contest through the first 20 minutes with 20 points of his own.
Texas looked to pull away in the second half, but North Carolina would not let it happen.
The Longhorns held the lead the entire second half and pushed their advantage to as much as 10 points at multiple points in the period. But, with the help of White and highly-touted freshman Nassir Little, the Tar Heels stayed within striking distance.
Little finished the game with 11 points—all coming during the game’s final 11-plus minutes. White added 13 points after halftime, including three more three-pointers to give him seven for the game.
But in the end, North Carolina had no answer for Roach, who finished shooting 12-for-15 with seven assists, six rebounds and four steals. Jaxson Hayes provided 15 points on 5-for-5 shooting and nine rebounds off the bench.
With the win, Texas moved to 5-0 on the season while North Carolina fell to 5-1. The Longhorns will play No. 11 Michigan State on Friday after the Spartans beat No. 17 UCLA, who the Tar Heels will face.