North Carolina 81
Wake Forest 75
No. 9 North Carolina Defeats Rutgers, 81-67
Freshman Dexter Strickland scored a season-high 18 points, including a key 3-pointer late, to help No. 9 North Carolina beat Rutgers 81-67 on Monday night.
Deon Thompson added 14 points for the Tar Heels (10-3), who played without injured fifth-year senior Marcus Ginyard. North Carolina turned in a relatively ho-hum performance coming out of a five-day Christmas break, gradually increasing a six-point halftime lead to 17 points midway through the second half.
But the Tar Heels never put away Rutgers (9-3), which hung in and even inched as close as four points with about 2 minutes left. Strickland responded by burying a 3 with 1:54 left that pushed the margin to 74-67 and ultimately helped the Tar Heels pull away late.
Wake Forest Defeats UNC Greensboro, 75-60
Al-Farouq Aminu had 23 points and 17 rebounds and Wake Forest blocked a school-record 16 shots in a 75-60 victory against North Carolina-Greensboro on Monday night.
Ari Stewart and L.D. Williams had 11 points apiece for the Demon Deacons (9-2). Wake Forest shot 44.6 percent, hit 37.5 percent of its 3-pointers and used a late 16-6 run to break open a surprisingly tight game and win its fifth straight.
Ben Stywall had 13 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Spartans (2-9). They shot 30 percent and lost their fifth straight, at least in part because they at times struggled to generate good looks against Wake Forest’s block-happy front line.