Kentucky moves to 8-3 on the year, and 0-1 on the road. North Carolina moves to 7-2 and 4-2 at the Smith Center.
The Tar Heels move their series lead to 23-13 overall.
Kentucky will return to the hardwood Saturday, Dec. 21, as Belmont travels to Rupp Arena. Tipoff is set for noon ET on ESPNU.
Today’s attendance was 21,565.
Kentucky started with the lineup of sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein and freshmen Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle and James Young. That lineup is 4-3 on the year. UK has used that starting five in each of its last four games.
Dakari Johnson and Dominique Hawkins were the first subs in the game. It marked the third time Hawkins and Johnson have been the first Wildcats off the bench.After taking a 4-2 lead with 17:44 in the first half, UK led for more than 12 minutes until a James Joel jumper put the Tar Heels up 24-23 with 5:32 remaining in the first half.
The 15 called fouls in the first half marks the most fouls in the opening half for the Wildcats, topping UK’s 12 fouls in the first half against Michigan State.
UNC got to the free throw line at a greater rate in the first half than any previous UK opponent, with Carolina’s 21 free throw attempts besting the previous high of a UK opponent, 11 from Michigan State.
Five 3-point attempts in the first half for the Wildcats ties a season low. UK previously only attempted five 3s in the first half vs. Providence. UNC’s 3-point attempts in the first half is also a low for UK opponents.
UK trailed 33-30 at the end of the first half; the Wildcats are 1-2 this season when trailing at the half.
Second-Half StoryThe Wildcats briefly regained the lead at 40-39 with 16:03 left in the second half on an Andrew Harrison free throw.
After a back-and-forth battle for the lead UNC captured the advantage on a layup with 13:26 left in the game to take a 48-46 edge it would never relinquish.
The Tar Heels stretched the lead to as much as eight on two free throws with 6:53 to play but Randle responded with a layup and two free throws to cut the lead.
After trailing 66-58 with 5:33 left in the game, UK scored five unanswered to cut the game to three with under four to play, but that would be all the closer the Cats would get.
UK bested North Carolina from the charity stripe .674 compared to .578 for UNC. It marked the fifth time the Wildcats shot a better percent from than line than their opponent,
Kentucky dominated North Carolina on the boards, pulling down 44 rebounds to UNC’s 32.
The game featured eight ties and six lead changes
Individual NotesAaron Harrison scored a team-high 20 points, shooting 8-of-12 from the field and knocking down his only 3-point attempt.
This is the third time Aaron Harrison has led the team in scoring.
He has reached double-figure scoring in five-consecutive games.
Tonight marked the third 20-point performance of his career.
Andrew Harrison delivered 17 points and a career-high seven assists
He has now scored double-digit points in six games.
Shot a career-high 17 free throws, connecting on 10.
James Young poured in 16 points and added five rebounds.
He knocked down eight made free throws which is a new season high.
Has knocked down multiple 3-pointers in seven games this season, including making at least one in all but one game this year.
Willie Cauley-Stein ended the game with five points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Was a force in the paint in the first half, pulling down nine rebounds and swatting three shots.
Has logged three or more rejections in six-straight games.
The 12 rebounds is just one shy of a career-high which he set against Robert Morris earlier this year.
Alex Poythress recorded six points and eight rebounds.
The eight boards marked the most rebounds for the sophomore since grabbing 12 against Michigan State in the third game of the season.
Julius Randle recorded 11 points and added five rebounds.
He has reached double-figure scoring in every game this season. It is the most consecutive games in double-figures since Brandon Knight scored 10 or more in 28-straight games from Nov. 30, 2010 through March 13, 2011.