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UNC Handles Wake Forest 87-71

Wake Forest was unable to get close in the second half against the North Carolina Tar Heels as they fell by an 87-71 margin.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Wake got off to a sloppy start getting beat in transition frequently and trailed 9-5 at the first TV timeout of the first half. The Deacs responded nicely out of the timeout and after a Codi Miller-McInytre drive to the basket and a quick Madison Jones layup Wake still trailed by four at a 16-12 margin at the next TV timeout. UNC was outhustling the Deacs early while Wake was able to capitalize off several offensive rebounds and convert them into second half chances.

The Deacs continued to be aggressive on offense, looking for an opportunity to penetrate the lane after several passes and screens around the perimeter and after Devin Thomas got fouled inside, making both free throws the game was knotted at 18 with just under nine minutes to play in the half. Freshman Mitchell Wilbekin looked like an experienced veteran reading an errant pass perfectly on a fastbreak, sneaking in front of the UNC player, and getting fouled in the process allowing the Deacs to take a 22-20 lead on the heels of sloppy UNC play on offense. UNC responded with six quick points but were overly aggressive in the backcourt, along with sloppy with the ball in general and Wake tied the game back up at 28 after Thomas finished a nice drive from Madison Jones from point blank.

UNC stretched it out shortly before the half by converting on a series of missed Wake jumpers and took a 40-34 lead into the break after a transition two from Bryce Johnson as the clock ran out.

Behind Kennedy Meeks, the Heels came out hot to start the second and took the lead out to double digits at 46-36 before the first tv timeout of the second half. UNC continued to expand the lead as the second half unfolded behind hot shooting and an ability to establish themselves inside with ease. When Thomas was out of the game Johnson and Meeks were able to assert themselves wherever they wanted and even with Devin's bigger body, the UNC big men were in their element draining turnaround looks with a hand in their face. At the under 12 timeout UNC was on the verge of a blowout with a 65-48 lead.

Despite a few threes in the middle of the second half, notably back-to-back strikes from Dinos Mitoglou, Wake was unable to quell the Tarheels' hot second half and at one point UNC was 16-23 in the half from the field as they jumped out to a 77-61 lead with just under six minutes to play. The Deacs were unable to get the lead back under twelve the rest of the way as they fell by an 87-71 margin. With the loss Wake falls to 9-10 (1-5 ACC) while the Tarheels improve to 15-4 (5-1 ACC). CMM finished with 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists while Devin Thomas finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Wake returns to action on Saturday at noon against Clemson in South Carolina