Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Written By Wake Forest Sports Information Dept.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - No. 7 North Carolina outscored Wake Forest 27-8 over the final eight and a half minutes to get out of Winston-Salem with an 83-65 victory Thursday night at the Joel Coliseum.
Despite struggling with turnovers for most of the night, the Demon Deacons (10-9, 1-5 ACC) shot the ball well enough to stay within striking distance with under 10 minutes to play.
A Chelsea Douglas three-pointer with 8:22 remaining even the score at 56-56 but the Deacons then went cold from the floor, making just four of its final 15 shots. North Carolina (17-3, 5-1 ACC) jumped on the opportunity and made its final eight free throws to put the game away.
Junior Dearica Hamby had just another night at the office as she scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for her 15th double-double of the season. She also blocked one shot and dished-out three assists.
Douglas hit three three-pointers and finished with 20 points. That marked the first time since she scored a school-record 48 points on Dec. 29, that Douglas has eclipsed the 20-point mark. The Rock Hill, S.C., native also distributed the ball well on Thursday, notching a game-high five assists.
Freshmen Jill Brunori and Ataijah Taylor each finished with eight points on the night. Despite battling foul trouble most of the game, Brunori grabbed 10 rebounds including seven on the offensive end. This was just Brunori's second 10-rebound game of the season.
North Carolina came into the game averaging almost eight more rebounds than its opponents. The Deacons held their own on the glass, losing the rebounding battled by just one, 42-41. Points off turnovers however, was the difference in the game. Wake Forest turned the ball over 27 times which led to 35 North Carolina points. The Tar Heels turned the ball over 17 times and the Deacs scored just nine points.
Wake Forest announced early that it wasn't going to be a push-over for the top-10 ranked Tar Heels. The Deacons scored the first seven points of the game and held the lead for the first seven and a half minutes. North Carolina took a 22-15 lead at the 9:17 mark but the Deacons went on a 9-2 run to even the score at 24-24. The Tar Heels then capitalized on a couple Wake Forest miscues and were able to build a 41-35 lead at the break.
The Deacons shot 53 percent in the opening half but North Carolina had seven offensive rebounds and turned those into eight second chance points.
The Heels pushed the lead out to as many as eight points on a couple of occasions in the first seven minutes of the second half but a three-pointer by Douglas and a lay-in by Hamby jumpstarted an 11-3 Wake Forest run that allowed the hosts to pull even at 56-56. Douglas started and capped the run with three-pointers.
North Carolina responded with a 19-2 run over the next seven minutes to take a 75-58 lead with 1:22 to play. That run swung the momentum and allowed North Carolina to finally exhale.
Wake Forest will regroup and head north to take on Boston College this Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. from the Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The Demon Deacons have won the last seven meetings with the Eagles.
Wake Forest Sports Information Dept.