RJ Davis’s clutch career night helps UNC sweat out surprising Ivy League test from Brown

North Carolina guard RJ Davis reacts after sinking one of his six 3-pointers against Brown on Friday night at the Smith Center.
North Carolina guard RJ Davis reacts after sinking one of his six 3-pointers against Brown on Friday night at the Smith Center.

CHAPEL HILL — An unexpected Ivy League test had North Carolina sweating out Friday night.

RJ Davis proved up to the task, particularly during crunch time.

Davis delivered a career-high 26 points and Armando Bacot scored 22 points, helping the No. 19 Tar Heels survive 94-87 against upset-minded Brown in men’s basketball at the Smith Center.

Davis’s 14 points across the game’s final seven minutes, underlined by a clutch pair of 3-points in the last 45 seconds, allowed North Carolina to avoid what would’ve registered as a shocking loss to the visiting Bears, who arrived as considerable underdogs.

Brady Manek added 14 points and Caleb Love chipped in 13 points for the Tar Heels (2-0).

Dan Friday’s 21 points and Nana Owusu-Anane had 20 points for Brown (1-1).

Three nights after the Tar Heels led by as many as 26 and rolled past Loyola (Md.) to ring in the new era of coach Hubert Davis, this became far from a simple proposition against visiting Brown.

Brown forward Nana Owusu-Anane, left, bodies North Carolina’s Dawson Garcia on defense during Friday night’s game at the Smith Center.
Brown forward Nana Owusu-Anane, left, bodies North Carolina’s Dawson Garcia on defense during Friday night’s game at the Smith Center.

The Bears arrived as a 24-point underdog, but by halftime they led 50-47, after Aaron Cooley swished an open 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first half.

That quieted the home crowd, which had risen to its feet in appreciation of RJ Davis nailing back-to-back 3s. Bacot scored 14 first-half points and Davis had 12 for the Tar Heels.

This report will be updated with comments from the Tar Heels and more information.

Adam Smith is a sports reporter for the Burlington Times-News and USA TODAY Network. You can reach him by email at asmith@thetimesnews.com or @adam_smithTN on Twitter.

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This article originally appeared on Times-News: UNC basketball avoids Brown’s upset bid behind RJ Davis’s career night

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