North Carolina got inspired play by reserve Jackson Simmons off the bench and P.J. Hairston scored a career high 23 points in route to a 77-72 victory at Florida State on Saturday.
Hairston knocked down 4 three pointers to go with 9-14 shooting from the floor while James Michael McAdoo chipped in 14 points. Reggie Bullock scored 12 in the victory.
The young Tar Heels have not been able to close games out successfully recently, but in this game they gutted the win out with solid defense down the stretch and dominated the boards during the game. Carolina won the boards by a decisive 34-18 margin over the Seminoles.
It was a competitive game throughout with the lead changing hands numerous times. A much different look than last season's visit to Tallahassee where Carolina was embarrassed 90-57 at the hands of Florida State.
Jackson Simmons played 15 off of the bench, where he added toughness, hustle and steady interior defense. He went 3-3 from the field and made both free throws attempted to finish with 8 points and 4 rebounds.
Simmons scored inside with 3:14 left in the game to give the Heels a 73-72 lead which they never relinquished. They held the Seminoles scoreless the last 4:17 minutes of the game.
Florida State was led by Okaro White who had 15 points in the loss.
With the win, North Carolina moves to 11-5 and 1-2 in conference play. They are next in action next Saturday when they host Maryland.