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Off the cuff: Except for a seven-minute span in the first half when Wake Forest outscored North Carolina, 20-10, this was as strong a performance as the Heels have had all year.

Wake Forest is a good team and for 33 minutes Carolina handled them by outscoring them by 31 points.

The Tar Heels had just 33 points at the half but exploded for 52 points in the second half.

RJ Davis obviously had a great night, passing his career best by six points. He got his 36 points on a strong 14 of 23 shooting night, including four of eight from beyond the arc.

"I was locked in from the start of the game," Davis said. "I was able to read the defense really well and then I got hot from three in the second half."

He said he felt like he was in the zone. "I was confident and comfortable," he said, adding that he just caught fire. "It was like playing in the back yard."

He only had two assists in part because Elliott Cadeau found a weakness in the Wake defense and penetrated the lane a number of times en route to his 14 points. There were often no passes.

The Tar Heels got out in transition in the second half, outscoring the Deacons 15-1 in fastbreak points.

The game looked like it was going to be another grinding game but the pace quickened in the second half in great part because the Tar Heels clamped down defensively and were able to get out for those transition points.

It was easy for Davis to say the following since he had 36 points but it does seem to be true. "We've all bought in," Davis said. "It doesn't matter who has the most points. We all just want to win."

Carolina 85, Wake Forest 64
Davis' career night leads 2nd half spurt

(Photo by UNC Sports Information)

North Carolina guard RJ Davis scored a career-high 36 points with 23 of them coming in the second half as the Tar Heels came back from a halftime deficit to beat Wake Forest 85-64 in Chapel Hill. (1/22)

"He was in a great rhythm ," UNC coach Hubert Davis said. "Some of his points came at the basket, some mid-range and some from three... and he had no turnovers."

Carolina trailed 34-33 at the half after having eight-point lead with seven minutes to play in the opening stanza.

"I felt like we were getting the shots in the first half. We just weren't making them," Coach Davis said. "In the second half, we stepped it up defensively... We needed to get stops to get out into transition."

Davis, who had no three pointers in the first half, broke a 41-all tie early in the second half with back-to-back threes over a span of 36-seconds.

That was part of an 18-4 Tar Heel run over five minutes that ended with a Cormac Ryan three from the right side to put Carolina in control at 59-45.

Wake got no closer than 12 points the rest of the way. Carolina extended the lead to 20 at 73-53 with an Armando Bacot tip with 5:30 left.

Davis broke his career-high of 30 when he swished a triple from the top of the key with 2:28 left. Then he gave Carolina its biggest lead of the game at 85-61 with a three from the right wing with less than a minute to go.

It was the ninth straight win for the Tar Heels, now ranked third in the country, and the ninth straight win over Wake Forest in Chapel Hill. It was also the ninth time in a row that Carolina has outrebounded its opponent, this time with a 43-30 advantage.

Joining Davis in double figures for Carolina were Elliott Cadeau, who penetrated for 14 points, Ryan, who had 11, and Harrison Ingram, who finished with 10.

Hunter Sallis had 18 points to lead Boston College, now 13-6 and 5-3 in the ACC.

The Tar Heels, who improve to 16-3 overall and 8-0 in the conference, travel to Florida State Saturday.

Box score

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