“Dig deeper” has become the catchphrase of the North Carolina men’s basketball team.
In Wednesday night’s 88-79 victory over Wake Forest, two players did a lot of the digging.
With his 22 second-half points, junior guard RJ Davis surpassed his 1000th career point while leading both teams in scoring. That performance was complemented by a career-high 18-points from graduate forward Leaky Black, who had one of his best shooting performances of the season thus far.
UNC and Wake Forest swapped leads 20 times throughout the game, but the Tar Heels never let Wake Forest pull away — a testament to their ability to dig deep. Alongside RJ Davis and Black, senior forward Armando Bacot recorded 21 points and first-year Seth Trimble put up a career-high 11 points in the victory.
Black knocked down three 3-pointers in the first seven minutes of the game, surpassing his 6.7-point scoring average early on.
“Believe it or not, I’ve been doing that in practice since I’ve been here," Black said. "It just hasn’t been showing in the games. It’s always been there, it’s just a matter of going out and doing it, just playing free.”
On just six shots, Black logged 14 points in the first half to lead UNC into the break.
“I’m super proud of Leaky,” RJ Davis said. “I told him he looked like Steph out there when he was shooting threes.”
Black said he harnessed his disappointment from the team’s loss to Pittsburgh last week, where the defensive specialist allowed his assignment — senior guard Jamarius Burton — to score 31 points. Black said he took the loss personally, which fueled his fiery performance on Wednesday night.