Miami's Keyona Hayes added 14 points, including a crucial second-chance layup with a minute to go, for the Hurricanes (12-10, 4-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Xylina McDaniel and Diamond DeShields had 18 points each for the Tar Heels (17-5, 5-3), who fell behind by 19 in the first half after a 22-4 run by Miami. UNC managed just one field goal in seven minutes during that stretch.
While the Hurricanes allowed UNC to go on a 15-2 run to close the first half and briefly fell behind early in the second, their 57 percent shooting ensured the win.
North Carolina honored its 1994 national championship team at halftime to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the program's only title. Head coach Sylvia Hatchell, who has missed the entire season while being treated for leukemia, joined her team for the ceremony.