Freshman Anthony scores 34 points, No. 9 UNC beats Irish

Freshman Anthony scores 34 points, No. 9 UNC beats Irish
North Carolina guard Cole Anthony (2) drives to the basket while Notre Dame forward Nate Laszewski (14) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome) (Source: Gerry Broome)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Freshman Cole Anthony had 34 points and 11 rebounds in his college debut, leading No. 9 North Carolina past Notre Dame 76-65 in their opener Wednesday night.

With his father — former UNLV and NBA guard Greg Anthony — in the stands, the Atlantic Coast Conference preseason freshman of the year broke Rashad McCants' 17-year-old scoring record by a freshman in his first game and finished 12 of 24 from the field with six 3-pointers.

Anthony scored 15 points during a 29-13 second-half run that put the Tar Heels in control.

Prentiss Hubb scored a career-high 22 points, T.J. Gibbs added 19 and John Mooney finished with 10 for the Fighting Irish. They led 37-32 just under 2 minutes into the second half.

That's when Anthony took over. He started the run with a runner, reeled off seven straight points for his team and hit three 3s in a 4-minute span, the last of which gave the Tar Heels their first double-figure lead at 61-50 with 9 minutes remaining.

BIG PICTURE

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish had never opened a season with a conference game — in any of their conferences — and this was a tough ask, though they did more than simply play the foil in Anthony's debut. They built that second-half lead on Hubb's shooting but couldn't contain Anthony down the stretch.

North Carolina: Anthony certainly lived up to the hype, becoming the first UNC freshman with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in a game since Tyler Hansbrough against Georgia Tech in 2006. He helped the Tar Heels reach a milestone — they earned their 700th ACC victory, the first program with that many wins in the conference.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame: Hosts Robert Morris on Saturday.

North Carolina: Visits UNC Wilmington and former Tar Heels assistant C.B. McGrath on Friday night.

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