Brandon Robinson scored a career-high 29 points and North Carolina ended a five-game losing streak by beating Miami 94-71 on Saturday.
Freshman Armando Bacot added 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the Tar Heels (9-10, 2-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), who had lost six straight league games for the first time in program history amid a wave of injuries and shaky play.
But they released weeks of pent-up frustration against a Miami team missing two of its top scorers in Chris Lykes and Kameron McGusty, running off a quick 15-2 run to build a big early lead and turn this one into a rare romp for a struggling group.
Robinson’s return was particularly welcome. The 6-foot-5 senior didn’t play in Wednesday’s double-overtime loss at Virginia Tech due to lingering effects from a Jan. 11 car accident in which the other driver was charged with driving while impaired, though Robinson had played Jan. 18 against Pittsburgh.
Robinson showed no ill effects Saturday, making 11 of 16 shots and hitting 6 of 10 3-pointers. That helped North Carolina finish with a season-high scoring output while shooting 58% after failing to hit 50% all year.
Freshman Isaiah Wong scored a season-high 19 points for the Hurricanes (10-9, 2-7), who announced shortly before tipoff that Lykes (groin) and that McGusty (back spasms) wouldn't play due to injuries. Running with just six players much of the way, Miami shot 41% and made 6 of 24 3-pointers.
The Hurricanes had lost five of six since the start of January, including an overtime home loss to No. 5 Florida State last weekend. Things only got worse Saturday, with the Hurricanes struggling badly from the start without top scorer Lykes (15.7 points) and No. 3 scorer McGusty (14.5).
The Hurricanes host Virginia Tech on Tuesday.