Heels Can't Find Traction
Jan. 11, 2009
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Jeff Teague scored a career-high 34 points and No. 4 Wake Forest held on to beat third-ranked North Carolina 92-89 on Sunday night.
Chas McFarland matched a season high with 20 points for the Demon Deacons (14-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who remained one of three unbeatens in Division I and matched the 1980-81 team that also won its first 14 games.
Danny Green scored 22 points and Tyler Hansbrough added 17 on 3-of-12 shooting -- he went without a field goal in the second half for the Tar Heels (14-2, 0-2).
In a span of eight days, the once-unanimous No. 1 team in the nation has lost two of three and shares last place in the ACC with Georgia Tech. The Tar Heels have lost its first two league games for the first time since 1996-97, when they started 0-3.
North Carolina has been hampered by the absence of top defender Marcus Ginyard, who missed his second game in a row and has been slow to recover from offseason foot surgery.
Wake Forest led for most of the second half, but the Tar Heels made things interesting late by twice closing within three points in the final minute.
After Will Graves' 3-pointer made it 91-89 with 4.7 seconds left, Teague knocked down a free throw with 3.3 seconds remaining to end the scoring.
Graves' desperation heave from halfcourt hit off the backboard and sent the tie-dye-clad Screamin' Demons student section onto the court to celebrate Wake Forest's most significant victory since the Chris Paul-led team -- also ranked No. 4 -- knocked off the then-No. 3 Tar Heels four years ago.
That team under Skip Prosser made it to No. 1 for the first time in school history. With the best friend of the late coach on the bench, these young but talented Demon Deacons also are starting to develop that type of look.
And just as then, a star guard with an uncanny knack for hitting the big shots has Wake Forest clicking.
Teague clearly outplayed his counterpart -- North Carolina's Ty Lawson, who finished 4-for-12 from the field, missed all four of his 3s and turned it over four times.
Teague entered with an ACC-leading average of 19.6 points -- Hansbrough's average of 22 points would have been tops in the league had he played in at least 75 percent of North Carolina's games.
He finished 9-of-17 from the field, hit three of four 3-pointers and was 13-of-15 from the free-throw line. During one second-half stretch, Teague slashed his way through the lane for layups on three consecutive possessions.
Playing in front of a record Joel Coliseum crowd of 14,714 that included one-time Wake Forest guard Muggsy Bogues, former coach Dave Odom -- and a student dressed as Dino from The Flintstones in honor of coach Dino Gaudio -- the Demon Deacons started strong and twice led by nine.
And just as he did in last season's upset of then-No. 2 Duke, Teague started strong.
He scored 10 of his team's first 14 points, and Wake Forest forced the Tar Heels to miss 11 of their first 15 shots before things tightened up -- once North Carolina responded with a 10-2 run midway through the half, neither team led by more than six until Teague put Wake Forest up 70-63 with a free throw with nine minutes remaining.
Teague's two free throws with 14:07 remaining made it 58-57 and put the Demon Deacons in front to stay.