This time, it wasn’t even close to being close.
Dominique Wilson had 21 points and Miah Spencer 20, leading four N.C. State players in double figures as the Wolfpack crushed archrival North Carolina 78-49 on Sunday in front of a raucous standing-room-only crowd of 2,811 at Broughton High’s Holliday Gym.
State, which has won three straight and seven of its last eight, improved to 16-6 overall and 7-2 in the ACC in snapping UNC’s eight-game streak in the series. It was the sixth straight loss for the Tar Heels (12-11, 2-6), the fourth straight since post Xylina McDaniel’s college career ended with an ACL injury.
“I was happy with the way our kids came out in the second half,” State coach Wes Moore said. “That was pretty impressive. We shot the ball pretty well and that was great to see. We get to celebrate for a few hours and then get ready for the next game. Carolina got us into some foul trouble, but in the second period when we had to play bench players and they did a great job.”
Ashley Williams added 13 points and Jennifer Mathurin 12 with 12 rebounds for the Wolfpack.
UNC played without coach Sylvia Hatchell, who is serving the first of a two-game suspension for bumping an official in last week’s loss at Duke and for a recruiting violation on a prospect’s official visit. Long-time assistant Andrew Calder was in charge in her absence.
“N.C. State is a very good basketball team,” Calder said. “They do a very good job of creating opportunities for each other. I thought we were in good position defensively and had some good looks we didn’t make. But it’s my job to get the team to do the right things offensively and defensively and I didn’t get the job done.”
Destinee Walker, who leads the nation in minutes played with 851, led the Tar Heels with 12 points in 39 minutes while Jamie Cherry added 11. Erika Johnson had nine rebounds with five points in 24 minutes.
State shot 41.7 percent from the floor to UNC’s 30.2, won the rebound battle 45-38 and committed 13 turnovers to the Tar Heels’ 18.
“We were excited, but we stayed focused,” Wilson said. “We knew we couldn’t let up. I have seen a lot of big comebacks in the ACC before.”
It was the Wolfpack’s second largest victory margin in the series, only to an 89-58 victory in the 1978 ACC tournament at Virginia.
“This only shows how much potential we really have,” Spencer said. “I think we’re about to peak at the right time. This is the first time our seniors had beaten Carolina and it’s a really great feeling right now.”
The Wolfpack put the game away with a 14-0 run to end the third quarter and stretch the lead to 61-39.
State led 33-28 at halftime behind nine points each from Wilson and Mathurin. Cherry had eight for the Tar Heels.
“We played a great first half, but we didn’t execute well in the second,” Cherry said. “And once we got behind double digits we had trouble in the third quarter. We have to have all five executing and scoring points to have a great game.”
State was ahead at the break despite shooting only 29.4 percent to the Tar Heels’ 33.3. UNC led the rebound battle 23-21 at the break, but had committed 12 turnovers to eight for the Wolfpack.
State led 19-17 after the first period with seven points each from Wilson and Mathurin. All six active scholarship players scored for UNC in the first.
“It’s good when we can play the other Triangle schools and win,” Mathurin said. “We get a lot of energy from wins like this.”
Notes: State leads the all-time series 52-49. … The rematch is on Feb. 21 at Carmichael Arena in the Tar Heels’ Play4Kay game. … UNC hosts Louisville on Thursday at 7 p.m. … State visits Notre Dame on Thursday night and Wake Forest on Super Bowl Sunday before returning home on Feb. 11 against Boston College.