For the second time in three games, Syracuse held a late lead, only to see it slip away, falling at home to North Carolina 72-68.

With 1:23 to play, Joe Girard’s three gave Syracuse a 68-66 lead. Pete Nance would regain the lead for the Tar Heels at 69-68, scoring off his own missed free throw with 19 seconds to play. SU freshman Judah Mintz was called for a charge on the ‘Cuse next possession. Mintz also received a flagrant one foul. Caleb Love would make three free throws in the closing 12 seconds, sealing the win for UNC.

Joe Girard paced SU with 18 points, five assists and four rebounds. Judah Mintz added 17 points and 3 steals. Chris Bell finished 3-5 from behind the arc, chipping in 15 points in 36 minutes of action.

Pete Nance and Armando Bacot combined to score 39 points for the Tar Heels.

SU out rebounded UNC 35-30. The ‘Cuse shot nearly 51% from the floor (29-57), holding North Carolina to under 45% (26-58) shooting from the field. North Carolina finished the night 14-23 from the free throw line, Syracuse was just 2-3 at the charity stripe.

Syracuse drops to 13-8 overall (6-4 in the ACC). North Carolina improves to 15-6 overall (7-3 in the ACC). The Tar Heels have won 16 out of the 21 meetings against the Orange.

SU returns to action on Saturday at Virginia Tech. It will be a 7 p.m. tip from Blacksburg, VA and you can watch the game on the ACC Network.