Jeff Lebo scored 25 points as third-ranked North Carolina defeated Wake Forest, 94-85, in an Atlantic Coast Conference game Wednesday night to give Tar Heel Coach Dean Smith his 600th career coaching victory.
Smith, 55, North Carolina's coach since 1962, became the 10th winningest coach in NCAA Division I history in an arena that is named for him.
North Carolina, 21-2 overall and 10-0 in the conference, held a 22-14 lead with 11:46 left in the first half. But the Demon Deacons (11-11 and 1-9) cut the margin to 25-22 as Mark Cline made two three-point field goals.
But the Tar Heels pulled away again to take a 47-37 halftime lead--the largest margin of the first half.
The Tar Heels took a 52-39 lead with 18:43 left on a free throw by Joe Wolf, but Wake Forest used three-pointers to chip away at the lead. In a 22-13 stretch, the Demon Deacons hit four three-pointers and pulled to within 65-61 with 11:18 left.
But Wake Forest could not come closer as the Tar Heels used free throw shooting and three-pointers to pull away. Guard Kenny Smith, who scored 11 of his 12 points in the final nine minutes, started the rally with a steal and a slam dunk to give the North Carolina a 70-61 lead with 9:21 left.
Lebo made five of nine shots from three-point range, including four in the first half. Wolf added 16, and J.R. Reid had 13 for the Tar Heels.