Dec. 4, 2010

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -Tyler Zeller scored a career-high 27 points and hit the go-ahead free throws with 47 seconds left, helping North Carolina edge No. 10 Kentucky 75-73 on Saturday.

Zeller scored 12 of the final 16 points for the Tar Heels (5-3), who earned a needed victory against a big-name opponent after struggling the first month of the season.

John Henson added 13 points and 12 rebounds, giving North Carolina its sixth win in the past seven games against the Wildcats (5-2).

Freshman Doron Lamb had a season-high 24 points for Kentucky, though he missed a desperation running heave for the win a few steps within halfcourt as time expired.

Zeller ended up as the steady hand for the Tar Heels in a game that featured five lead changes in the final 3 minutes. Zeller hit all of his six free throws in the final 90 seconds, while Larry Drew II came up with a pair of critical free throws with 20.9 seconds left.

Zeller, a 7-foot junior, also had 11 rebounds and five blocks while finishing 11 for 12 at the line. He was a big part of the Tar Heels' dominance in the paint, where they outscored the Wildcats 34-14 and hounded Terrence Jones into a miserable game.

Jones came in leading Kentucky at nearly 21 points and 10 rebounds per game, but the 6-8 freshman struggled with the long-armed Henson shadowing him most of the afternoon. Jones finished with nine points and six rebounds on 3-for-17 shooting - including 0 for 7 after halftime - before fouling out with 3:04 left.