UNC Basketball: Tar Heels fall to Wake Forest in ACC Tournament first round

Tar Heels’ hope for an NCAA Tournament bid ends, as UNC basketball falls to Wake Forest in Greensboro

Ivana Raca tied her career-high with 27 points, and pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds, as Wake Forest beat North Carolina by a final score of 83-73 in the first round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday afternoon.

Alex Sharp recorded a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double, and Christina Morra had a career-high 19 points on an 8-for-10 shooting performance to go along with nine rebounds and two assists. Gina Conti added 10 points for the Demon Deacons, who evened their record at 15-15 on the season, and advanced to the second round of the ACC Tournament for a matchup with the fifth-seeded Virginia Tech Hokies.

Wake shot 44.6 percent for the game, and 47.1 percent from three-point range. They converted 17-of-23 attempts from the free throw line, and outrebounded the Tar Heels by an unthinkable 25 rebounds. In fact, the Demon Deacons had nearly as many offensive boards (20) as the Tar Heels had total (22), helping negate the 14 turnovers they committed.

North Carolina was led by Shayla Bennett, who scored a team-high 26 points on a 9-for-17 shooting performance from the floor, and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. She also had a game-high seven assists, and hit all five of her shots from the charity stripe. Taylor Koenen had 19 points, five rebounds and three assists, and Madinah Muhammad scored 13. In her first game back from injury, Janelle Bailey had a meager four points and six rebounds.

The Tar Heels hit just over 44 percent of their shots for the game, and 47.1 percent from downtown. They knocked down 13-of-15 from the foul line and committed just 10 turnovers against the Demon Deacons, but gave up far too many second chance points to come out on top. The loss drops North Carolina to 16-14 on the season, and out of contention to play in the NCAA Tournament. Whether or not the Tar Heels get a bid to another postseason tournament is yet to be seen.

Next: UNC's 5 worst losses to Duke in the Roy Williams era

Stick with Keeping It Heel for all the latest on the UNC women’s basketball program.