Heels Take Down Deacs, 88-60

Ellington - 18 pts.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. --- Once a troublesome trip for North Carolina, the fourth-ranked Tar Heels took a good kick at Wake Forest while it's down, methodically dismissing the struggling Demon Deacons 88-60 before an allegiance-mixed Joel Coliseum crowd.

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  • Wayne Ellington's game-high 18 points led five Tar Heels in double figures. Tyler Hansbrough scored 13 and Brandan Wright and Danny Green each added 12.

    Ellington converted 8-of-12 field goals, including a pair of three pointers.

    Ty Lawson shook off a frustrating first half – in which he picked up a couple of fouls, by scoring all of his 15 points in the second half when UNC broke the game open.

    Lawson said UNC coach Roy Williams has been telling him to look for his shot more, and he stressed it again in the locker room at halftime.

    "He's tells me 'You could have taken this shot' or 'You could have taken that shot' in games," Lawson said. "He's always telling me to shoot more.

    "With Tyler, Brandan and Wayne, I don't need to shoot the ball that much; but I need to shoot to keep the defense honest, so they don't think I'm going to drive all the time."

    Williams added, "Ty can shoot the basketball. Sometimes he looks past that, but he shouldn't ignore his open shots. I did tell him that we needed a big half out of him. If that's all it takes then I'm going to tell him that every game."

    Senior Kyle Visser matched Hansbrough's 11 first-half points, while Quentin Thomas and Ishmael Smith each had five assists in the first 20 minutes.

    Despite giving up 10 offensive rebounds to the Deacs, Carolina maintained a 42-37 halftime advantage.

    "Coach really stressed the offensive boards at halftime," Hansbrough said. "We came out and made that our focus in the second half."

    And, in doing so, the Heels outscored Wake, 46-23, in the second half

    Smith got loose for seven points and five assists in the opening period, but only managed two points and had 0 assists in the second half and fouled out with 6:14 left in the game.

    By then, the familiar "TAR-HEEL" chant resounded back and forth across the arena.

    Carolina (18-2, 5-1 ACC), which shot 57 percent from the floor on Wednesday, has eclipsed the 50 percent mark in four consecutive halves on the road.

    "The first 10 to 12 minutes in the second half we played pretty well offensively, and we had been struggling," Williams said. "We feel good about having five guys in double figures and getting a win on the road in the ACC."

    Both teams committed 19 turnovers apiece, but the Tar Heels' shooting helped absorb their miscues. On the other hand, the Deacs (9-10, 1-6) shot just 32 percent for the game.

    "We missed a lot of open looks," Wake coach Skip Prosser said. "They weren't guarding us at the foul line, that I can remember, and we shot worse there than we did from the field."

    Wake had won six of the last eight between the two schools; however, following a rare fourth-straight contest in Winston-Salem, UNC now leads the all-time series, 149-63.

    It was Carolina's largest margin of victory versus the Deacons since 1986 and its biggest win ever on the road in the series.

    The Tar Heels have won more games against Wake Forest than any other opponent.

    The turnaround is quick for Carolina, which travels to No. 17/19 Arizona for a 1 p.m. EST tip-off Saturday at the McKale Center.

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