Wolfpack basketball season continues to spiral in wrong direction

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By AARON BEARD – AP Basketball Writer

RALEIGH, NC (AP) – Joel Berry II scored 18 points to help No. 10 North Carolina beat rival North Carolina State 97-73 on Wednesday night to stay alone in first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

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Luke Maye added a career-high 13 points for the Tar Heels (22-5, 10-3), who shot 56 percent while dominating both the paint and the glass to blow out the Wolfpack for the second time in a month. UNC had won the first meeting 107-56 for the second-worst loss in N.C. State’s history.

UNC finished with a 60-22 edge in points in the paint and a 41-25 rebounding advantage that led to a 27-13 edge in second-chance points.

Freshman Dennis Smith Jr. scored 27 points but little else went right for the Wolfpack (14-13, 3-11), who continued their accelerating descent that has led to growing uncertainty about the future of sixth-year coach Mark Gottfried.

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