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Jan 22, 2024 9:33 pm

RJ Davis drops career-high 36, lifts No. 3 UNC over Wake Forest

RJ Davis scored a career-high 36 points and No. 3 North Carolina used a huge second half to grab an 85-64 victory against Wake Forest on Monday night at Chapel Hill, N.C.

Elliot Cadeau racked up 14 points, Cormac Ryan added 11 points and Harrison Ingram posted 10 points and 14 rebounds for North Carolina (16-3, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which shot 52.5 percent from the field.

The Tar Heels are now riding a nine-game winning streak for the first time since 2017, when they won six NCAA Tournament games to claim the national title before opening the 2017-18 campaign with five more victories.

Davis, a senior guard, made 14 of 23 shots from the field, also canning four 3-pointers. He had 23 second-half points, reaching the 30-point mark with 9:04 left.

Hunter Sallis poured in 18 points, Andrew Carr notched 14 points and Cameron Hildreth had 10 points for Wake Forest (13-6, 5-3), which faced a nationally ranked team for the first time this season. The Demon Deacons have lost three consecutive road outings.

Wake Forest didn’t make a second-half 3-point attempt, finishing 3-for-20 from beyond the arc (15 percent). The team’s starters combined to go 0-for-11 on threes.

The Demon Deacons shot 35.6 percent from the field and managed to pull in only four offensive rebounds. Wake Forest outscored the Tar Heels 19-16 on free throws and committed only six turnovers, but that still wasn’t a good enough formula for a road upset.

North Carolina pulled away in the second half. With a 50-45 lead, the Tar Heels rattled off the next nine points, with Ryan’s 3-pointer capping the run with 11:46 remaining.

Wake Forest led 34-33 at halftime despite scoring only 14 points in the game’s first 13 minutes. Sallis provided 10 of the Demon Deacons’ first 18 points.

North Carolina missed all eight of its 3-point attempts in the opening half. The Tar Heels ended up 5-for-15 on threes (33.3 percent).

North Carolina improved to 26-5 vs. Wake Forest in games in the Smith Center.

–Field Level Media

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