CHAPEL HILL – Wake Forest had no answer for UNC basketball’s RJ Davis on Monday night at the Smith Center.
In a 85-64 victory for the third-ranked Tar Heels, Davis finished with a career-high 36 points on 14 of 23 shooting and set a UNC record with multiple 3-pointers in 16 straight games. When Davis checked out with 44.6 seconds left, the fans gave their biggest cheer of the night.
“It was the first time, as a player and as a coach, that I can remember the Smith Center crowd chanting a player’s name,” UNC head coach Hubert Davis said.
“I’m just really proud of him. He’s had a terrific career, but I feel like this year he’s finally getting noticed. I’m just really happy for him.”
After trailing at halftime, UNC (16-3, 8-0 ACC) walloped Wake Forest (13-6, 5-3) with an offensive onslaught in the second half. The Tar Heels outscored the Demon Deacons 52-32 in the final 20 minutes to remain undefeated in the ACC.
Here are some other observations from UNC’s win against Wake Forest.
UNC basketball’s RJ Davis with another All-American game
RJ Davis continues to show he’s one of the best players in the nation. UNC’s senior guard got the Smith Center crowd going with a sensational start to the second half, matching Wake Forest with 11 points in the first five minutes. At that point, he had 24 points and UNC started to build a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Davis had 23 points in the second half.
Tar Heels’ dominant second-half
UNC had six layups and no 3-pointers in the first half against Wake Forest. The Tar Heels had nine layups and five 3-pointers in the second half. Down three in the opening minute of the second half, UNC responded with a 33-18 extended run and finished with 48 points in the paint. Wake Forest shot 26.7% in the second half.
Wake Forest gets hot late in first half
UNC led by eight at one point in the first half, but Wake Forest got hot in the final minutes to take a 34-33 halftime lead. RJ Davis did most of the heavy lifting, scoring 13 points for the Tar Heels. UNC missed each of its eight attempts from 3-point range and the Demon Deacons made seven of their final 10 shots in the first half, including two 3s from Damari Monsanto.
Staff writer Rodd Baxley can be reached at email@example.com or @RoddBaxley on X/Twitter.