CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Joel Berry II hit a high-arcing floater in the paint with 10.3 seconds left to lift No. 13 North Carolina past Wake Forest 73-69 in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
Berry’s driving shot over 7-foot-1 shot blocker Doral Moore finally pushed the Tar Heels ahead for good. But UNC (12-2, 1-0 ACC) needed Kenny Williams to rebound Keyshawn Woods’ push upcourt 3-pointer for the lead and hit two clinching free throws with 1.3 seconds left to seal it.
North Carolina scored the last eight points of the game.
Luke Maye had 17 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Tar Heels, while Berry finished with 16 points.
Bryant Crawford scored 17 points to lead the Demon Deacons (7-6, 0-1), who shot 50 percent in the second half and led 69-65 on Crawford’s runner with 2:23 left.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons have been up and down from opening night, bumbling their way to an 0-3 start — two of those were at home — but later putting together a six-game winning streak before last weekend’s loss to No. 19 Tennessee. But they repeated their late-game fade from that one, when they surrendered a game-ending 13-0 run.
UNC: The Tar Heels were playing at the Smith Center for the first time since the stunning loss to Wofford that ended a 23-game home winning streak, though they had followed with a win against Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic in New Orleans. They very nearly took another home loss, though the reigning national champions figured out how to grind this one with a veteran group.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons host Syracuse on Wednesday.
UNC: The Tar Heels travel to No. 24 Florida State on Wednesday.