(3) North Carolina 82

(14-2, 3-1 ACC)

(4) Wake Forest 95

(15-1, 4-0 ACC)

1:30 PM ET, January 15, 2005

Lawrence Joel Coliseum, Winston-salem, North Carolina

1 2 T
#3UNC 33 4982
#4WAKE 43 5295

Top Performers

North Carolina: R. McCants 19 Pts, 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

Wake Forest: C. Paul 26 Pts, 6 Reb, 8 Ast, 5 Stl

Deacons aided by going 32-for-32 from line

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Chris Paul wanted to win, and he got a reminder on just how to make that happen from Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser.

"Coach always tells us this is a team game played by individuals," Paul said. "He says you have to beat your guy."

No problem there.

Paul dominated his point guard matchup with Raymond Felton, Taron Downey had a season-high 18 points and the Demon Deacons (No. 3 ESPN/USA Today; No. 4 AP) ran away from North Carolina (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today; No. 3 AP) 95-82 on Saturday.

Wake Forest (15-1, 4-0) set an Atlantic Coast Conference record by making all 32 free throws -- falling two short of tying the NCAA mark -- with Paul finishing 9-for-9. The 6-foot sophomore finished with 26 points, eight assists, six rebounds and five steals to overshadow Felton, who shot only 5-for-18 and had 16 points.

"He is a very, very, very talented player with an excellent work ethic," Prosser said. "He also can read and watch television, so he knew the magnitude of this game, and I think he stepped up to the challenge."

Downey gave his team an unexpected boost. A senior whose playing time decreased with the emergence of Paul, he came in averaging only 7.6 points.

"I've said before and I'll say it again, he's one of the most selfless players I've ever coached," Prosser said. "And for that, he's also one of the most popular among his teammates."

Downey beat his average by making three consecutive 3-pointers during a 90-second stretch of the first half to give the Deacons their first lead at 14-13, and the score was tied only once after that.

"Big-time players like to play on a big stage," Downey said. "When the stage is big, I play better."

The Tar Heels (14-2, 3-1), who lost for the first time since their opener at Santa Clara, struggled throughout with foul trouble. Jackie Manuel, Marvin Williams and David Noel all fouled out, and Rashad McCants finished with four.

McCants scored 19 points and Williams added 15 for North Carolina.

"We just have to put everything in perspective," said Tar Heels center Sean May, who was held to nine points. "It's one game in conference play. We can't hold on to this forever, but we do got to think about some things, things we did wrong and how we didn't have each other's backs out there."

Because of a quirk in the scheduling for the newly expanded ACC, this was the only meeting of the season for the teams, the first time since 1922 they haven't played a home-and-home.

It also was the first time they've played while both were ranked in the top five.

"We might play them in the ACC tournament or the NCAA tournament, but if we don't, we got this one," Paul said.

McCants picked up his fourth foul about a minute into the second half and sat on the bench for 10 minutes. When he returned, he tried to rally North Carolina by himself, scoring 12 points down the stretch.

"I kept saying that if I didn't have those four fouls, there would've been no telling where the game would've went," McCants said. "It was hard, real hard."

Wake Forest took control with a 10-0 spurt early in the second half, with four players contributing. Downey finished it off by getting fouled on a 3 and making three free throws to put the Deacons ahead 53-38, and North Carolina threatened only a couple of times.

"In the second half, we were much more competitive," Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said. "I'm disappointed in the result, but I think it was a heck of a college basketball game."

One of those rallies came after McCants' layup with about 8½ minutes left cut the lead to 66-58, the first time the margin had been less than 10 since early in the second half. Later, McCants drove around Jamaal Levy to score to make it 83-75.

Paul had the answer for the Deacons, throwing a full-court pass to an open Eric Williams for a dunk, and they finished it off by --what else? -- making their free throws.

The NCAA record of 34-for-34 has been done twice, most recently by Samford on Dec. 20, 1990. Wake Forest had been making only 66 percent at the line.

"I think that if you follow us, you will see that as an aberration," Prosser said with a smile. "We needed all 32 of those, especially down the stretch. We knew that Carolina would make a run, so I'm glad we made our free throws."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 82 95
FG Made-Attempted 27-67 (.403) 27-62 (.435)
3P Made-Attempted 7-25 (.280) 9-21 (.429)
FT Made-Attempted 21-26 (.808) 32-32 (1.000)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (0/0) 23 (0/0)
Largest Lead 6 17

2004-05 Season

» Jan 15, 2005 @WAKE 95, UNC 82Recap