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Off the cuff: There have been games where free throw shooting cost Carolina wins and it has made games closer than they should have been. The game against Wake is an example of using free throws to blow somebody out.

The Tar Heels hit 24 of 29 free throws, that's 12 more made free throws than the Deacons.

Of course even with 12 fewer points the Tar Heels would have won handily. Another big determining factor was the three-point shooting. The Heels shot threes better than any other time this season.

Leslie McDonald, who is really coming on, scored 15 of his points from beyond the arc while Paige scored nine points on threes.

The Tar Heels scored 15 more points on three pointers than did Wake. So the free throws and three pointers amounted to a 27-point edge on Wake Forest.

Once again, Coach Roy Williams tried to get his subs on the court to hold the ball at the end of the game. But one walk-on player Luke Davis passed to another walk-on Jackson Simmons on a nice play with six seconds left. Good for them. Seldom-used players should get a chance to play, not dribble the clock out.

But Williams, I think unnecessarily, apologized to the Wake Forest coach at game's end. The very first thing he said was, "I'm sorry about those last points." Ridiculous. Had it been his starting five running a play to score at the end, yeah, I'd understand that.

If anyone is to apologize, it should be Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik to his subs for not playing them in a rout game like that.

Tar Heels 105, Wake Forest 72
Six Heels score in double figures in rout

North Carolina, coming off a big win over Duke fewer than two days earlier, responded with a high-scoring rout over Wake Forest, 105-72. (2/22)

Six Tar Heels - Leslie McDonald, Kennedy Meeks, Brice Johnson, Marcus Paige, JP Tokoto and James Michael McAdoo - scored in double figures for the first time this season as the home team extended a 19-point halftime lead to its largest margin of 33 points by game's end.

UNC trailed 6-4 early but after a McDonald three put the Heels up for the first time at 9-6, the Tar Heels never looked back.

"In the first half early, I didn't think we were really into it," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "Then we played better defense and we just shot the ball really well."

Hot shooting - including from beyond the arc and from the free throw line - quickly put Carolina in control.

A 13-2 Tar Heel run - highlighted by a McAdoo driving dunk and a pair of three pointers by McDonald - saw the lead extend to 29-15 with eight minutes left in the half.

Carolina converted 16 of 17 from the foul line in the first half to take a 52-33 halftime lead.

Wake got the margin down to 13 in the first four minutes of the second half but threes by Marcus Paige and McDonald helped Carolina get back to a 19-point margin at 67-48.

An 11-0 run ended any doubt about the outcome as Carolina led 80-51 midway through the second half. It then became more about whether the Tar Heels would reach 100 points and if any Blue Team members would score. The answer to both was yes.

Seldom-used reserve Wade Moody came in and promptly drilled a three to make the score 95-69 with 4:30 left. Then he banged a three in a few feet to the left of his previous shot to put Carolina over the century mark at 101-71.

That was quite a change from the first time the two teams played when Wake Forest beat UNC 73-67.

"We're a lot better and we caught them on a day they weren't playing well and our shots were going in," Coach Williams said.

Carolina shot 57 percent for the game, including 11 of 15 three pointers, while hitting 24 of 29 from the foul line.

McDonald led the way with 19 points which includes hitting five of six three pointers. Meeks was six of seven from the floor for 15 points followed by Johnson with 14, Paige with 13, Tokoto with 11 and McAdoo with 11.

UNC's ninth straight victory moves the Heels to 20-7 and 10-4 in the ACC while Wake fell to 14-13 and 4-10 in the league.

The Tar Heels travel to NC State Wednesday night.


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