In what turned out to be an uneven game for the Tar Heels, UNC methodically took control oearly thanks to a big first half from Brice Johnson. The senior big man bounced back from his six point outing versus NC State with 15 first half points. The early offense from Johnson helped UNC move out to a double digit lead.
Wake Forest pushed back to cut the lead to as little as six points at 5:26 left. With UNC up 30-23, the Tar Heels reeled off a 12-0 run to push the lead to 19. That run was fueled by a variety of Tar Heels from a Joel Berry three to a layup and one from Theo Pinson to Luke Maye tipping in two misses. A late three by Wake Forest made it a 46-30 game at the break.
The second half started much the same with Johnson and Kennedy Meeks doing most of the damage on the interior or in the case of Johnson at the free throw line. The lead grew to as much as 27 with 13:25 left. The second half shooting took a turn for the worst with the Tar Heels shooting just 27% in the second half. UNC did manage 19 points at the free throw line to keep the offense just above water.
Marcus Paige's shooting woes continued with seven misses before a late second half layup literally climbed over the front of the rim and into the basket. Paige is now 3-25 over the past three games and 1-17 from three. Three of his attempts from beyond the arc either rimmed out or hit back iron.
The story of the game was Brice Johnson's 27 points and 11 rebounds. He was 8-12 from the floor and 11-12 at the free throw line continuing his excellent free throw shooting. Three other Tar Heels hovered just below the double digit barrier.. Kennedy Meeks, Joel Berry and Isaiah Hicks each had nine points while Justin Jackson had eight on a team high 13 shot attempts.
UNC moves to 17-2 overall and 6-0 in the ACC with a tenth straight win since the loss at Texas.