Freshman C.J. Harris scored a career-high 20 points and Wake Forest beat No. 24 North Carolina 82-69 on Wednesday night to send the Tar Heels to their first three-game losing streak under coach Roy Williams.
Ishmael Smith had 20 points, and Al-Farouq Aminu added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Demon Deacons (13-4, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference). They hit 56 percent of their 3-pointers and were 7 of 8 from long range in the second half of their first victory in Chapel Hill since 2003.
Will Graves scored 16 points to lead the Tar Heels (12-7, 1-3). The defending national champions, who have dropped four of five, were playing their first game since falling to No. 24 _ their lowest ranking in The Associated Press Top 25 since 2006.
The losing streak is their longest since they dropped five in a row under Matt Doherty in 2002-03.
Harris had 13 points in the second half and fellow freshman Ari Stewart added 11 points for Wake Forest, which was coming off a 20-point loss three nights earlier at Duke but salvaged a split against its top instate rivals by winning its second straight against North Carolina.
The Tar Heels made it a one-point game shortly after halftime before Wake Forest's first-year guards fueled the 18-6 run that put the Demon Deacons in complete control.
Stewart closed the run with three straight 3s in a 90-second span, capping it with a 25-footer that stretched it to 58-45 with 10:45 to play. Even after the spurt was over, the 3s kept falling: Harris swished a pair 30 seconds apart from the same spot on the left wing, stretching the lead to 68-53 with 7:26 left.
Travis Wear and Deon Thompson had 13 points apiece, and Graves pulled North Carolina to 40-39 with a 3 with 17 minutes remaining before the Tar Heels faded to the fourth 1-3 start in ACC play in program history.
Two key members of North Carolina's front line were on the bench in sport coats and ties. No. 2 scorer Ed Davis sat out with a left ankle injury and 7-footer Tyler Zeller missed his third straight game with a stress fracture in his right foot.
But it was in the backcourt where Wake Forest had its way with the Tar Heels.
North Carolina's guards have struggled since Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington left early for the NBA _ and Smith and the Demon Deacons exploited that weakness repeatedly at both ends of the court.
Smith simply beat the Tar Heels downcourt three times for early layups before Harris and Stewart took over from long range after the break. Meanwhile, North Carolina finished 6 for 26 from beyond the arc against the ACC's best defense against the 3.
Smith had 10 points in the first half for the Demon Deacons, who went ahead to stay during a run of 10 straight points. Gary Clark put them up for good with _ what else? _ a 3-pointer about nine minutes in that made it 19-18.
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