North Carolina whips Wake Forest

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 05, 2013
Reggie Bullock scored 23 points to help North Carolina beat Wake Forest 87-62 on Tuesday night. James Michael McAdoo added 20 points for the Tar Heels (16-6, 6-3 ACC), who have won six of seven since an 0-2 league start. North Carolina put together a 24-5 run spanning halftime to blow the game open and take a 25-point lead on the way to an easy home win. The Tar Heels shot 52 percent and scored 26 points off turnovers to beat Wake Forest for the fourth straight time. North Carolina led by 20 points at halftime and by 34 points after the break. Freshman Devin Thomas had 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Demon Deacons (10-12, 3-7), who have lost four straight and six of seven. Wake Forest shot 44 percent but committed 21 turnovers to keep giving the ball right back to the Tar Heels. Wake Forest hasn't won since its 86-84 upset of North Carolina State two weeks ago. It had played well at home but poorly on the road since that game, taking Duke to the final minutes in a close home loss yet losing at Georgia Tech and Maryland by a combined 46 points. This one didn't go any better. The Demon Deacons constantly gave the ball away in a barrage of turnovers that the Tar Heels were all too eager to convert into points. Wake Forest finished the first half with more turnovers (13) than field goals (9), while the Tar Heels converted those miscues into 18 points that helped them shoot 62 percent (18 of 29) in the first 20 minutes. The Tar Heels held Wake Forest without a field goal for nearly 6 minutes to end the half during a 15-1 run that pushed the lead to double figures. Bullock scored seven in that flurry, including a straightaway 3-pointer that caught the front of the rim, bounced softly into the air and dropped through the net just before the horn for a 47-27 halftime lead. Then, after consecutive baskets from Thomas, the Tar Heels ran off nine straight points to take a 56-31 lead on Marcus Paige's transition layup with 16:49 left. Wake Forest got no closer than 21 points the rest of the night. It was the first time this year that Bullock and McAdoo, UNC's top two players, both reached 20 points in the same game. It was also a single-game scoring high for the Tar Heels in an ACC game this season. P.J. Hairston added 11 points for the Tar Heels in his first game back from a concussion. The sophomore guard was hurt when he collided with teammate Dexter Strickland last week at Boston College, then sat out of last weekend's overtime win against Virginia Tech. Hairston had also been battling a flu-like bug since Sunday night, prompting coach Roy Williams to say Monday that Hairston was doubtful and ''highly unlikely'' to play against Wake Forest. But Hairston was cleared to return from the concussion before tipoff, then participated in pregame warm-ups before entering the game to loud cheers with 14:58 left in the opening half. Hairston hit a pair of 3-pointers in 12 minutes.
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