- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Wake Forest did a lot of good things against No. 7 North Carolina on Thursday night, but in the end the Tar Heels were just too deep.

The Demon Deacons stayed close through the first 32 minutes of the 83-65 loss, but a late 19-2 run by the Tar Heels proved to be the knockout punch.

Dearica Hamby led the Deacons (10-9, 1-5 ACC) with 22 points and 11 rebounds, her 15th double-double of the season, while Chelsea Douglas added 20 points. And Jill Brunori had 10 rebounds with eight points.

The Tar Heels won their 11th straight in the series.


“I’m really proud of our players,” Wake coach Jen Hoover said. “I thought we came out with a great game plan and they executed what we were trying to do on a pretty consistent basis with the exception of our turnovers. .

“I think our kids got confidence that we can play with them. We can score on their defense. But we’ve got to give ourselves a chance. If we get the turnovers down to 20 and make some free throws, it’s a better game for us.”

Freshmen Diamond DeShields and Allisha Gray each had 19 points for UNC (17-3, 5-1). Stephanie Mavunga added 12 points and 12 rebounds, the freshman’s 10th double-double, while Xylina McDaniel also had 12 points.

The Deacons have lost five of their last six games. North Carolina has won 12 of 13.

“Wake Forest did a lot of great things on offense to try to take advantage of some mismatches down inside,” said UNC acting coach Andrew Calder, substituting on the sidelines for Sylvia Hatchell as she undergoes treatments for leukemia. “Obviously Hamby and Douglas are two all-ACC players. They’re well-coached and did a really good job mixing up their defenses. They did some triangle-and-two and some zone and some man. It did take us a little while to get going.”

The game was close until the final four minutes, tied for the last time at 56-56 on Douglas’ 3-pointer with 8:22 remaining. But the Tar Heels went that 19-2 run before Millesa Calicott’s 3-pointer for the Deacons with 1:05 to go.

UNC shot 44.8 percent on the night to Wake’s 44.3, won the rebound battle 42-41 and committed 17 turnovers to the Deacons’ 27.

UNC was 17 for 25 from the free-throw line to Wake Forest’s 6 for 16, The Tar Heels hit their final eight free throws to seal the result.

“I felt like we were really tired at the end and it was starting to show,” said Hamby, who played with DeShields for Norcross High’s 2011 Georgia state 5-A champions. “But they were switching everything and we knew there would be some mismatches and we were trying to take advantage of it.

“I think this game is going to help a lot. We stepped up and grew up a lot with this game. We’re capable of being a great team and we have to build on this.”

Wake took a 9-2 lead on Ataijah Taylor’s layup with 18:20 left in the half, but the Tar Heels responded with a 20-6 run to take a 22-15 lead on a DeShields 3-pointer at 9:16 and never trailed again.

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