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No. 7 UNC women pull away from Wake Forest, 83-65

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP)

No. 7 North Carolina needed more than 30 minutes to shake free from Wake Forest.

Freshmen Diamond DeShields and Allisha Gray each had 19 points, leading four Tar Heels in double figures in what turned out to be an 83-65 romp over the scrappy Demon Deacons on Thursday night.

North Carolina (17-3, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its 11th straight in the series. Stephanie Mavunga had 12 points and 12 rebounds for UNC, the freshman's 10th double-double, while Xylina McDaniel also had 12 points.

Dearica Hamby led the Demon Deacons (10-9, 1-5) with 22 points and 11 rebounds, her 15th double-double of the season, and Chelsea Douglas added 20 points.

UNC has won 12 of its last 13 games. The Deacons have lost five of their last six.

''It did take us a little while to get going'' said UNC acting coach Andrew Calder, substituting on the sidelines for Sylvia Hatchell as she undergoes treatments for leukemia. ''We had some open shots that we didn't knock down, and the ball movement wasn't there early. Getting 35 points off their turnovers was really impressive. I'm proud of how hard our players are working. (DeShields and Gray) were really outstanding. One of our goals is to try to wear the other team down, and our players have worked hard to make that happen.''

The game was close until the final four minutes, tied for the last time at 56-56 on Douglas' 3-pointer with 8:22 remaining. But the Tar Heels went on a 19-2 run before Millesa Calicott's 3-pointer for the Deacons with 1:05 to go.

''I'm really proud of our players,'' Wake coach Jen Hoover said. ''I thought we came out with a great game plan and they executed what we were trying to do on a pretty consistent basis with the exception of our turnovers. We've gotten a little bit casual with the basketball and they really made us pay for it (with 35 points off turnovers).''

UNC shot 44.8 percent on the night to Wake's 44.3, won the rebound battle 42-41 and committed 17 turnovers to the Deacons' 27.

UNC was 17 for 25 from the free throw line to Wake Forest's 6 for 16, The Tar Heels hit their final eight free throws to seal the result.

''My shots were falling real well tonight,'' said Gray, who was 7 for 13 from the floor and 3 for 5 on 3-pointers.

DeShields, who played with Hamby for Norcross High's 2011 Georgia state 5A champions, did not start as per team policy after receiving a technical in Sunday's win at Boston College.

''I picked up three careless fouls in the second half and then I just played smarter,'' DeShields said. ''I apologized to my team for putting us in that predicament.

''Dearica is like my sister. But I'm a competitor. It's all competition between those four lines, but outside it's all love. It was good seeing her and I'm glad she's doing well and putting out the numbers that she is.''

Wake took a 9-2 lead on Ataijah Taylor's layup with 18:20 left in the half, but the Tar Heels responded with a 20-6 run to take a 22-15 lead on a DeShields 3-pointer at 9:16 and never trailed again.

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