Wake Forest hammers UNC 74-57, drops Heels to last place in ACC

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
North Carolina's guard Cole Anthony (2) works to control the ball with Wake Forest's Brandon Childress (0) and Olivier Sarr (30) guarding.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Wake Forest raced out to a commanding lead against North Carolina then held on for a 74-57 victory Tuesday that dropped the Tar Heels to last place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Andrien White led the way with 15 points for the Demon Deacons, who beat their Tobacco Road rival for the first time since January 2014.

Brandon Childress added 14 points for the Deacons (11-13, 4-10 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot nearly 56 percent in an opening half to lead by 18 by the break. Then came a flurry out of halftime that gave them their biggest lead at 26 points, all but wrapping this one up against a UNC team that struggled badly in its first game after Saturday's wild and emotional overtime loss to rival Duke.

North Carolina (10-14, 3-10) continued its season-long run of offensive troubles in a shaky performance, which at one point had coach Roy Williams angrily slamming a clipboard to the court during a timeout.

But the Tar Heels shot just 33 percent and made 1 of 16 3-pointers, hindering comeback efforts even after Wake Forest cooled in the second half.

The Tar Heels got within 66-57 on Cole Anthony's free throws with 2:37 left and had a chance to draw closer, but Christian Keeling hit the front iron on a 3-point attempt near the 2-minute mark in what turned out to be their last best chance.

Anthony had 15 points on 5-for-19 shooting for the Tar Heels. Junior forward Garrison Brooks, the team's No. 2 scorer, managed just seven points while missing all five of his shots and never looked comfortable while wearing protective goggles after being poked in the eye during the Duke loss.

Brooks also left briefly after taking an inadvertent blow to the face from Ody Oguama on a shot follow through with 3:02 left before halftime, returning for the second half after receiving a pair of stitches to his upper lip.

Keeling, a graduate transfer from Charleston Southern, had a season-high 15 points for the Tar Heels.


The Tar Heels had a rough follow-up to the crushing loss to the Blue Devils on Saturday, when they blew a 13-point lead in the final 4 1/2 minutes of regulation and saw Duke hit buzzer-beating shots both to force overtime and then to win it. This time, playing again without injured No. 3 scorer Brandon Robinson, they never led on their way to a fourth straight loss.

The Demon Deacons were coming off their own last-second loss, falling at Syracuse after rallying from 16 down after halftime. The Demon Deacons entered this one tied with Miami at the bottom of the league standings, one game back of UNC in the loss column. But their hot first-half shooting, including a four-point play by White, put them in firm control on their way to ending a six-game skid in the series.


The Tar Heels host reigning national champion Virginia on Saturday night.

The Demon Deacons visit Miami on Saturday.