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January 31, 2012Winston-Salem, NC - Roy Williams said he smelled something burning, but not the nets as No. 5 North Carolina (19-3, 6-1 ACC) defeated Wake Forest (11-11, 2-6 ACC) 68-53.
The Tar Heels shot an abysmal 31-percent, but the Demon Deacons were even worse at 29.6-percent.
"They're length really had an impact on the game around the rim for us," Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "They had 12 blocks, and we had some opportunities around the rim that we just couldn't finish, because of their length. When you couple that with the fact that we had some open threes that we just couldn't make that made it difficult for us to score."
Despite Carolina's length denying the Deacs offensive attack C.J. Harris was the game's top scorer with 19 points, breaking the 1,000-point barrier for his career.
Wake Forest stuck around early tying the game twice in the first half at 17-17, then 19-19 at the 7:38 mark, but a 9-0 scoring spurt put the Heels in the driver's seat for good. The Deacs trimmed their deficit down to six points at the 13:45 mark of the second half, but North Carolina blitzed Wake with a 20-4 run to lead 60-38 with 6:14 remaining in the contest.
"We had some looks, but you have to keep scoring," Bzdelik said. "You have to score the ball again. You have to finish plays."
North Carolina finished plays, especially on the defensive boards as it claimed a 33-10 edge in that category to limit the Demon Deacons second-chance scoring opportunities.
UNC's big men Tyler Zeller and John Henson were the landlords of the paint, as they combined for 32 points, 30 rebounds and seven blocks.
"They were trying to make sure they made it difficult for Zeller and John," Williams said. "I thought Z was big. I thought their size and shot-blocking ability inside bothered us."
Wake blocked six shots and McKie pulled down 13 rebounds, but the Deacs were outscored 34-18 in the paint. Aside from Harris, Wake Forest had no one else score in double figures. UNC had four players reach double digits, including 14 points from an unlike source Kendall Marshall.
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