CHAPEL HILL — Freshman Caleb Love had a career-high 20 points, Armando Bacot scored 14 of his 18 in the second half, and North Carolina beat Wake Forest 80-73 at home late Wednesday for its fourth victory in five games.
RJ Davis scored 13 points, Garrison Brooks 10, and Leaky Black added eight points, six rebounds and eight assists for Carolina (9-5, 4-3 ACC).
Bacot, who made 8 of 10 from the field and finished with six rebounds and three assists, hit a jumper to spark a 12-0 run that made it 45-35 and the Tar Heels never again trailed.
Wake’s Daivien Williamson and Jalen Johnson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make 53-all with 10 minutes to play, but Bacot answered with a layup, and his dunk with 4:45 left gave Carolina a 10-point lead again.
Williamson and Isaiah Mucius each scored a career-high 27 points for Wake (3-6, 0-6). Mucius, who went into to the game shooting 16.7 percent (4 of 24) from 3-point range, made a career-high seven 3s on 12 attempts and also grabbed seven rebounds. Williamson made three 3s and had five assists and three rebounds.
The first half featured nine lead changes and seven ties, with the Deacons taking a five-point lead on three occasions before they led 33-31 at the break. UNC shot 55 percent (17 of 31) from the field, made 15 of 21 from the free-throw line, and scored 26 of its 36 points in the paint after halftime.
Love shined for the Heels with a second-straight double-digit effort after a long night shooting in the Smith Center following a game last week after which he said he was unhappy with his play. He added several highlight-reel dunks, plus four rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks and made 2 of 3 attempts from long range in an all-around effort.
Wake, which has lost six in a row, shot 39 percent overall and committed 20 turnovers.