RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina wants to play fast, yet coach Hubert Davis didn't like how much the seventh-ranked Tar Heels' rival “sped us up” with pressure backed by a hostile crowd.

His team responded by calmly stretching out the lead at a critical moment to stay unbeaten in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

RJ Davis scored 16 points and Harrison Ingram had a career-best 19 rebounds to help UNC beat North Carolina State 67-54 on Wednesday night.

Freshman guard Elliott Cadeau added 11 points and six assists for the Tar Heels (12-3, 4-0 ACC), who grinded through a tough shooting night for both teams and led just 30-28 at halftime before putting together a 15-2 spurt to build a big lead.

“In the second half, we played offense at our pace,” Hubert Davis said.

RJ Davis, who leads the ACC in scoring at 20.6 points per game, overcame a 2-for-9 first half to score 11 points after the break - including a 3-pointer at the 4:06 mark to make it 67-50 and largely silence the Wolfpack’s rowdy home crowd.

Meanwhile, Ingram’s 19 rebounds were the most by a UNC player against N.C. State.

“We knew they kind of gave us their best shot in the first half," said North Carolina big man Armando Bacot, who had just nine points and five rebounds while being limited by foul trouble. “And in the second half, we had no doubt.”

Casey Morsell had 12 points and six rebounds to lead the Wolfpack (11-4, 3-1), who struggled offensively all night. N.C. State shot just 26.9%, including 2 for 21 from 3-point range, and couldn't answer UNC's decisive push.

“I think our defense started suffering because we didn't make shots,” Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts said.

The rivalry renewal had added zip considering it marked the first time in 50 years, and only the third time ever, the teams were meeting with each standing at 3-0 or better in the ACC. Now UNC is alone atop the league.


UNC: The Tar Heels were off to their first 3-0 start in ACC play since opening 8-0 during the 2015-16 season. Now they have three ACC road wins in as many tries.

N.C. State: The Wolfpack's 3-0 ACC start marked a first for the program since the 2012-13 season. But N.C. State's offense never got in a rhythm Wednesday, with leading scorer DJ Horne (14.4 ppg) finishing with six points on 2-for-16 shooting and the Wolfpack posting the program's worst shooting percentage against the rival Tar Heels since at least 1954.

“We just got disconnected,” Morsell said.


There was an awkward second-half stoppage after Ingram dove over a center-court table and injured prominent Wolfpack athletics donor Wendell Murphy, leaving the former state senator in his mid-80s with an injured right hand.

But Murphy – whose name graces N.C. State’s football building - stayed in his seat. Keatts walked over during the ensuing timeout to share a brief chuckle with Murphy as an arena staffer tended to him.

Murphy said afterward he's OK, though he was sporting a black wrap around his wrist area.


UNC: The Tar Heels host Syracuse on Saturday.

N.C. State: Plays at Louisville on Saturday.


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