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UNC 95, Wake Forest 57: Tar Heels bounce back with dominant win against Wake

Carolina cruised to a record-breaking win over the Demon Deacons.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Wake Forest Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Wake Forest is clearly not very good, this game had the potential to be a trap game if UNC wasn’t careful. Maybe it wasn’t a game they could lose, but noon road games don’t always produce the best basketball. Then you add in that it’s coming on the heels of a brutal loss, and is happening just four days before a Duke game. That very easily could equate to a needlessly close game against the worst team in the conference.

That is not what happened.

North Carolina scored the game’s first 18 points, and led by 28 going into halftime. For all intents and purposes, the game was over in about six minutes. The Tar Heels shot 74.1% in the first half and 62.3% in total as they rolled to a 95-57 win in Winston-Salem.

The game’s first points were scored by Cameron Johnson on a three, which turned out to be quite fitting. The senior led all players in scoring, going for 27 points. He also came agonizingly close to tying the UNC record for made threes, going 7-10. Roy Williams gave him a couple extra minutes to try and tie or break the record, but his last chance bounced around the rim and just refused to fall.

Other than Johnson, it was a balanced scoring output. Coby White and Luke Maye each went for 10, but no one else made it to double digits. White led UNC in assists with six, while Maye and Garrison Brooks each grabbed a game high seven rebounds.

As far as the defensive side of the ball, the Tar Heels didn’t have a ton of problems there either. UNC held Wake to 32.8% shooting for the game. Brandon Childress, who was the Demon Deacons’ leading scorer going into the game, put up literally zero points, going 0-12 and committing six turnovers.

In other things of note, Nassir Little played just nine minutes, and was apparently looked at by the trainer at one point. Hopefully, it was just a precautionary move. He looked solid in his couple minutes, scoring 5 points on 2-2 shooting.

Also, the Tar Heels weirdly just went 3-11 from the free throw line. The first make didn’t come until fairly late in the second half. It’s pretty bizarre that in a game where UNC shot the lights out, that they really couldn’t make any free throws, even though they’re a good FT shooting team.

It’s hard to tell exactly how much of this was because of UNC’s performance and how much was because of Wake Forest’s lack of performance. Like any game, it’s a combination of both. The rest of Wake’s season points to taking the margin of victory with a pinch of salt. This game did set the UNC record for the biggest margin of victory against the Demon Deacons.

Either way, Wednesday’s game will probably be a tad bit tougher.