Robinson leads Tar Heels as Williams gets win No. 879


December 31, 2019 - 10:08 AM

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — It wasn’t the cleanest game of Roy Williams’ career, but it was a milestone victory all the same.

Brandon Robinson scored a career-high 20 points and Williams tied his mentor on the all-time wins list as North Carolina beat Yale 70-67 on Monday night.

Justin Pierce added 14 points for the Tar Heels (8-5), who nearly squandered a 12-point lead with six minutes remaining.

Williams picked up his 879th career victory as a head coach, tying Dean Smith for the fourth most in Division I men’s basketball history. Williams worked as an assistant for Smith at North Carolina for 10 seasons from 1978-88.

“It’s a number,” Williams said. “It means I stayed around a long time, probably longer than some people wanted me to stay at places.”

Garrison Brooks had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels, and Jeremiah Francis had 10 points.

Azar Swain’s 30-foot 3-point attempt misfired at the buzzer for Yale (10-4).

“It’s not too often that’s Carolina is going to lose a nonconference game in this building,” Yale coach James Jones said. “It just doesn’t happen very often. And we were as close as you can possibly be.”

Swain battled through a sore ankle to score 21 points for Yale, whose seven-game winning streak ended. Jordan Bruner had 17 points and 15 rebounds, and Paul Atkinson added 10 points.

North Carolina answered a 7-0 run by Yale to open the second half with a 20-4 spurt, taking a 52-39 lead with 9:27 remaining.