EditorsNote: fixes wording in ninth graf
Cameron Johnson scored 14 of his season-high 27 points in the first half as No. 8 North Carolina opened a huge early lead in a 95-57 victory against host Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon in Winston-Salem, N.C.
North Carolina, which scored the game’s first 18 points, shot 74.1 percent in the first half, hitting 9 of 12 shots from 3-point range.
Johnson ended up hitting 7-of-10 3-point attempts.
The Tar Heels (20-5, 10-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who bounced back from a home loss to fourth-ranked Virginia on Monday night, also received 10 points each from Coby White and Luke Maye.
North Carolina, which has reached the 10-win mark in league play for the 14th time in 16 seasons under coach Roy Williams, next will take on No. 2 Duke on Wednesday night. The Blue Devils held first place in the ACC going into Saturday night’s game against North Carolina State.
The Tar Heels cruised despite 3-of-11 shooting from the foul line. They’re 6-0 in ACC road games.
Jaylen Hoard scored 17 points for Wake Forest (9-15, 2-10), which is guaranteed a losing ACC record. It was the largest margin of defeat ever for the Demon Deacons against the Tar Heels.
North Carolina broke out to an 18-0 lead before Wake Forest reserve guard Torry Johnson’s 3-pointer about 6 1/2 minutes into the game. The margin grew to 27-5 and 35-7.
The Tar Heels’ 49-21 lead at halftime was their largest margin at the half this season. It also marked the Demon Deacons’ biggest halftime deficit in the history of play at Lawrence Joel Coliseum.
Wake Forest shot 20.6 percent in the opening half, including an 0-for-11 mark from leading scorer Brandon Childress, who was held scoreless for the game.
North Carolina freshman forward Nassir Little, who left the Virginia game early with an ankle injury, was back in action.
Hoard, a freshman forward, was out of the Wake Forest starting lineup for the first time this season after he was tardy for a team function.
The Demon Deacons fell to 1-7 this season against ranked foes. This was their only scheduled meeting with North Carolina, which has won six straight in the series.
—Field Level Media