Chapel Hill, NC - Arnaud Adala Moto converted the and-one opportunity to trim Wake Forest's (10-12, 3-7 ACC) deficit down to six before North Carolina (16-6, 6-3 ACC) outscored the Demon Deacons 15-1 the final 5:54 of the first half to take 47-27 lead at the break on its way to an 87-62 win.
"We had some opportunities to score and some looks where we missed some shots around the rim," Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "Give them credit. They made shots. We had some opportunities to score, and simply couldn't convert."
The Tar Heels held the Deacs to 43.6-percent shooting from the field for the game, including to a lowly 39.1-percent in the first half.
Wake's leading top scorers in C.J. Harris and Travis McKie were limited to a meager eight points combined in the first half.
"I think we did try to challenge the shot," UNC head coach Roy Williams said. "We tried to get out there and we know that C.J. and Travis … and it helped us with Travis getting in foul trouble in the first half too, let's be realistic about that."
Carolina followed its strong defensive effort with an efficient shooting performance (62.1-percent from the floor) led by Reggie Bullock (23 points) and James Michael McAdoo (20 points). P.J. Hairston was also effective limited time, scoring 11 points to make the most of his 12 minutes.
The Demon Deacons saw quickly saw their 4-3 advantage disappear when one Bullock canned one of his four bombs from three-point land. UNC never looked back, building its lead all the way to a 34-point stronghold before Williams sent in the backups with less 2:00 remaining in regulation.
--- The performances of freshmen forwards Devin Thomas and Arnaud Adala Moto were a couple of the only positives Wake Forest can take away.
Moto scored a team-high and a career-high 13 points, which is the second time he has reached double digits in points this season. Thomas recorded the second double-double of his career with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
--- North Carolina forced Wake into committing a season-high 21 turnovers. The Tar Heels took advantage of the Demon Deacons blunders, scoring 26 points off those mistakes.
--- McKie, who is Wake Forest's leading scorer this season, was held to a season-low five points after reaching double figures in 13 consecutive games.
Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik
Opening statement: "Obviously the emphasis going into this game was to not turn the ball over, something that we worked on. Obviously we did a terrible job of that. They had 18 points in the first half off 13 turnovers."
"If you give a team that many easy baskets, it leads to a high shooting percentage, and shatters the confidence of our team, and it snowballs from there."
"I believe the score was 32 to 26 at one time and we had the ball on a break. And I believe we turned it over. We can't just give teams that many more possessions and that many easy points on turnovers."
North Carolina head coach Roy Williams
On the 15-1 run to close the first half: "We got good shots. We really did get good shots. We ran a couple of set plays and got good shots. I remember one time they got a wide open shot and missed it and we go to the other end and we're not quite as open and our goes in."
"I don't look at the score very often, but I looked up one time and I think it was a six or eight point game and there wasn't much time left in the half and then I think we made a pretty significant run."
"We got some stops on the defensive end and ran some breaks too that we didn't throw it away. One time we had a break and Marcus [Paige] bounces it to Jackson [Simmons] and it goes right through his hands."
"Then we have P.J. shooting three free throw after a foul on the three-point attempt and he makes the first, misses the next two then we tip it out and get the ball again and miss a wide open three there too. But I thought we did play well there right before the half."