No. 4 Deacons Top No. 3 Tar Heels, 92-89
Jan. 11, 2009
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - No. 4-ranked Wake Forest opened up conference play with a 92-89 win over third-ranked North Carolina at the Joel Coliseum on Sunday night. Sophomore Jeff Teague recorded a career-high 34 points in the sole meeting between the two teams this season.
Wake Forest is now one of only three Division I teams still undefeated this season.
"[It was a] good win against a great basketball team. I told the kids I'm proud of them and to enjoy it the right way. Then, we have to get ready to play Boston College," head coach Dino Gaudio stated.
The game came down to the final second as Wake Forest (14-0, 1-0 ACC) remained unbeaten with the win over North Carolina (14-2, 0-2 ACC) in front of a 14,714-person crowd, the largest attendance ever recorded at the Joel Coliseum. The previous record was 14,673 when Wake Forest faced No. 1-ranked Duke on Feb. 23, 1992. This marks the first sellout at the Joel Coliseum since March 4, 2006.
Junior Chas McFarland tied his season high of 20 points and came down with nine rebounds.
In a game with 11 ties and 10 lead changes, Wake Forest shot 29-of-61 (47.5%) from the field compared to North Carolina's 26-of-74 (35.1%) shooting. Wake Forest also recorded 44 points in the paint, while North Carolina finished with 30.
Freshman Al-Farouq Aminu totaled nine points and six rebounds, and sophomore James Johnson finished with nine points and five rebounds. Both fouled out late, but not before completing one of the biggest highlights for the Wake Forest fans in attendance.
Aminu found Johnson with 4:59 remaining in the game for a one-handed dunk over North Carolina's Danny Green which brought the crowd to its feet and the Wake Forest lead to 79-72.
The Deacons never relinquished the lead after a free throw by freshman Tony Woods with 13:13 remaining in the game to bring the score to 59-58. However, the Tar Heels had a chance to tie the score on their last possession but could not.
With the score at 84-80 following a 3-pointer by Wayne Ellington with 2:23 remaining, Tyler Hansbrough missed a 3-pointer and McFarland grabbed the loose-ball rebound and brought it down the court for a fast-break layup to make the score 86-80 with 1:38 remaining.
North Carolina cut the Wake Forest lead back down to three at 89-86 with 46 seconds left, after Ty Lawson converted on a 3-point play.
Teague answered by making two of his 13 free throws of the game with 19.2 seconds remaining. North Carolina's Will Graves brought the game back to within one shot after making a 3-pointer with four seconds on the clock.
With the score at 91-89, Teague made another free throw to make the Wake Forest lead three with three seconds to go in the game. North Carolina's Ed Davis came down with the rebound after Teague's second free throw attempt, but the Tar Heels were only able to get a desperation heave from half court before the buzzer sounded.
At halftime, the teams went into their locker rooms tied at 44. Wake Forest led by as many as nine in the first half, at the 9:55 and 9:33 marks. There were seven lead changes and six ties at the half. Teague had 14 points, and North Carolina was a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line.
North Carolina's top scorer in the game was Green with 22.
This win breaks North Carolina's streak of four consecutive victories over Wake Forest. The series now stands at 151-64 in favor of North Carolina. However, Wake Forest has won seven of the previous 12 matchups.
Wake Forest's most-recent victory - prior to tonight - occurred on Jan. 15, 2005, when the Deacons were a perfect 32-of-32 from the free throw line and beat North Carolina 95-82 in Winston-Salem.
Wake Forest is on the road for the next two games. The Demon Deacons will face No. 17/24 Boston College on Jan. 14, and then travel to No. 12/11 Clemson on Jan. 17. Boston College is the only other team to beat North Carolina this season. The Deacons will face the Eagles in Boston at 9 p.m. on Jan. 14.