RJ Davis, No. 3 North Carolina roll after halftime to beat Wake Forest 85-64

Mon, Jan 22, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

RJ Davis, No. 3 North Carolina roll after halftime to beat Wake Forest 85-64

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - RJ Davis scored a career-high 36 points and third-ranked North Carolina dominated after halftime to beat Wake Forest 85-64 on Monday night, remaining the lone unbeaten team in Atlantic Coast Conference play.

The 6-foot senior continued his star-making season by scoring 23 points after halftime for the Tar Heels (16-3, 8-0 ACC), who trailed by one at the break after failing to make a 3-pointer. But they came to life offensively after the break, consistently attacking the paint to get momentum going toward the rim and a steady offensive flow.

Davis finally got UNC on the board from behind the arc to start UNC's strongest push, taking a whip-the-ball-around-the-arc set of feeds and burying a corner 3-pointer before following with another 3 in transition.

That was the beginning of an 18-4 run that blew the game open, including inside scores from Davis and Jalen Washington before Cormac Ryan buried his own transition 3 against the backpedaling Demon Deacons for a 59-45 lead with 11:46 left.

Other news UConn, Purdue remain atop jumbled AP Top 25; No. 25 New Mexico moves into rankings Sion James scores season-high 22 points to help Tulane hold off No. 10 Memphis 81-79 Johnell Davis scores 34 as No. 23 Florida Atlantic escapes with OT win over UTSA 112-103

Wake Forest (13-6, 5-3) never got back to within single digits again during a cold-shooting second half that included going six minutes without a basket as UNC made its move. The Tar Heels shot 19 for 31 (61%) and outscored Wake Forest 52-30 after halftime, earning yet another impressive victory.

Hunter Sallis scored 18 points to lead Wake Forest, which was trying for its first win in Chapel Hill since 2010, but shot 8 for 30 (26.7%) and missed all nine 3-point tries after halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons had lost only twice since 7-footer Efton Reid III got his second-time transfer waiver on Dec. 5, and over the weekend added outside shooter Damari Monsanto back for his first action following knee surgery. But they struggled both for stops and made shots after halftime, and made just 3 of 20 3-pointers in the game.

UNC: Davis has been playing at an All-American level all season and cracked his career-high with a 3-pointer at the 2:31 mark, then had one more in the final minute to punctuate this one that had fans chanting his name late. Meanwhile, UNC has won seven straight ACC games by double-digit margins, the first time that has happened since winning 10 straight during the 1992-93 season that ended with Dean Smith's second and final NCAA title.

UP NEXT

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons get an extended break before traveling to Pittsburgh on Jan. 31.

UNC: The Tar Heels visit Florida State on Saturday.

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