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Off the cuff: North Carolina continues to win despite shooting woes. The Tar Heels must be doing something right - but what is it?

Well, free throw shooting has improved of late. Against the Deacons, the Heels shot 21 of 28 for 75 percent.

Turnovers are down. The last two games, Carolina has just 17 turnovers combined. The eight against Wake was tied for the lowest number of the year. Kendall Marshall is solid at point guard, dishing out wizard-like assists and not throwing it away.

John Henson and Tyler Zeller are controlling the paint. Zeller has his baby hook going and Henson is blocking shots and intimidating oppponents.

Finally, the Tar Heels created better shots against Wake Forest - they just didn't hit them. It should just be a matter of time before they start dropping. Until they do, there are other ways the Heels can create wins.

Tar Heels 78, Wake 64
Cold-shooting Heels still win in comfort

Despite shooting only 37 percent from the floor, North Carolina got up early and had little trouble defeating Wake Forest 78-64. (2/15)

The Tar Heels ran out to an 11-2 lead over the first five minutes behind seven points by John Henson and a three by Leslie McDonald. The Heels worked the lead up to 33-15 before settling for a 41-28 halftime lead.

Down 59-41, Wake Forest went on an 14-4 midway through the second half to cut the margin to eight at 63-55. But the Tar Heels quickly stopped that run with an 11-0 run of their own to wrap it up.

Once again freshmen Kendall Marshall and Harrison Barnes jump-started the run. Marshall passed to Barnes in the lane and he threw down a powerful dunk and was fouled. A Marshall steal ended with a Barnes dunk and Marshall closed out the run with a three-pointer from the top of the key with 2:40 to go to give Carolina its largest lead of the game at 74-55.

"It's a win and I'm pleased with that," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "We had a couple of really good stretches."

Still, Williams said his team got some open looks but just didn't make the shots. "Again, it's a 'W.'" he said. "We've got to get better though."

The Tar Heels shot only 18 percent from three-point land as Dexter Strickland was 0 for five from beyond the arc while Barnes, despite scoring 17 points, was just one of eight from three. Carolina attempted 27 threes, the most this season.

The Heels did their damage inside as 7-footer Tyler Zeller led the team with 18 points while John Henson scored 14 points, had 13 rebounds and blocked five shots. Also on positive note, the Tar Heels committed a season-low eight turnovers. Leslie was the only other Tar Heel in double figures with 13 points.

J.T. Terrell led the 8-18 Deacons with 18 points.

UNC, which advances to 19-6 and 8-2 in the ACC, hosts Boston College Saturday afternoon. The 1971 NIT Champion Tar Heels will be honored at the game.




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