Wake Forest is beaten by UNC men’s basketball

Wednesday night’s game in the Dean E. Smith Center saw North Carolina’s men’s basketball team (10-5, 2-2 ACC) defeat Wake Forest (10-5, 2-2 ACC), 88-79.

Leaky Black, a graduate forward and guard, made his second 3-pointer of the game little over five minutes into the half. He then blocked a shot at the other end of the court, which junior guard Caleb Love was able to make. Two minutes later, Black added another long-range field goal to give UNC a 15-12 advantage. Although they were trailing by one point, the Demon Deacons were maintaining a close lead by making a pair of fast break baskets.

RJ Davis, a junior guard, made a three after Wake Forest made a defensive stop, but Wake Forest answered with a deep jump shot. The Tar Heels increased their advantage to 26-18 after scoring on their following two possessions, but Wake Forest remained in striking distance thanks to a and-one and numerous free throws.

With five minutes left in the half, UNC had a six-point lead thanks to a and-one and a contested basket. Black’s attack on the hoop was paying off. Although both teams applied heavy pressure, Wake Forest took a 38-37 advantage into halftime thanks to a last-second 3-pointer.

Davis made another three to get UNC to within one point of the lead, but Wake Forest kept making low-post finishes. Seth Trimble, a first-year guard, gave UNC the lead with a jump shot in the paint and added a block on the other end to seal the victory. After exchanging possessions, UNC went on a ferocious run that began with a steal by Davis that Trimble tipped into the basket for UNC. After that, Davis grabbed another steal, which he threw to Bacot for a thunderous dunk. The roles then switched, with Davis making the three-point shot and Bacot recording the theft. With a 7-0 run, UNC now leads 70-64.

The energy persisted. After Love swished a three-pointer following a steal from Black that gave UNC possession, Trimble scored off a put-back on a low offensive rebound. A minute later, Davis scored easily after stealing the ball at the top of the key. With five minutes remaining, UNC was ahead 79-73.

The Demon Deacons remained in striking distance but were unable to score. The score was 88-79 in favour of the Tar Heels.

Black provided UNC’s spark in the first half, scoring 14 points and hitting 3-4 from beyond the arc. His total of 18 for the game is a career high.

For the Tar Heels, Davis scored 22 points in an explosive second half. Going 4-6 from beyond the arc, he was on fire

The Tar Heels needed an ACC victory to lift their spirits as they prepare to play consistently in the ACC after losing to Pittsburgh in a close game. With this triumph, UNC demonstrated that it possesses the drive necessary to compete with and outlast talented teams like Wake Forest, which has beaten both Duke and Virginia Tech.

On Saturday, January 7, the Tar Heels’ game against Notre Dame will begin at 11:30 a.m.

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