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Heels Hand Wake First Loss

Battling No. 4 Wake Forest wasn't too difficult for Brendan Haywood following his trip to the barber.

Four days after opening the Atlantic Coast Conference season scoreless, Haywood had 24 points, including the game-winning layup with 3.3 seconds left, as No. 13 North Carolina handed Wake Forest its first loss, 70-69 Saturday night.

"A couple of guys at the barber shop gave me a hard time. You know how it is at the barber shop," Haywood said. "They were laughing at me and calling me `doughnut.' But I knew what I could do. I wasn't worried about it. I just tried to laugh it off."

Haywood's point total matched his season high as he added 10 rebounds and three blocks in a physical game that ended Wake Forest's 17-game winning streak second in the nation to Michigan State's 23

"His barber also called him `goose egg,' " said Jason Capel, who tried not to laugh when he accompanied his teammate for a trim Friday as three barbers jabbed Haywood over his zero-point game against Georgia Tech.

"Brendan has really been walking around with a chip on his shoulder all day. He told me he was going to dominate this game and he did, from start to finish."

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  • The first loss of the season for the Demon Deacons (12-1, 1-1 ACC) came in a logical place. Wake Forest, which shot a season-low 37 percent, fell to 1-15 at the Smith Center.

    "I don't think there was any pressure on our team as it relates to streaks," said Wake Forest coach Dave Odom, whose team was trying to match the third-best start in school history"At some point, even the most optimistic of our group knew the (winning) streak was going to come to an end."

    Neither team led by more than five in a close second half. It was tied three times and there were five lead changes over the final 8:19 as the Tar Heels (11-2, 2-0) won their eighth straight.

    "This puts our confidence through the roof," Haywood said.

    Craig Dawson's layup with 17.7 seconds left gave the Demon Deacons a 69-68 lead, but the Tar Heels had one last chance and they took advantage.

    Capel's driving shot was blocked from behind by Josh Shoemaker as the clock was winding down, but the ball bounced right to Haywood, who made the game-winning layup while being fouled by Darius Songaila.

    "I didn't know where the ball was," Songaila said of the final key play. "I turned around, Haywood's got it and I hit him on the way up."

    Songaila's long 40-foot attempt missed and came after the buzzer as the North Carolina fans stormed the court in Matt Doherty's ACC home opener.

    "I got emotional because in athletics you have high highs and low lows," Doherty said. "Tonight was a really a high high."

    The Demon Deacons led by as many as nine in the opening half despite Songaila missing the final 16:42 when he picked up two quick fouls.

    Wake Forest's 27-18 lead evaporated when the nation's fourth-best shooting team went cold, scoring seven points over the final seven minutes of the period to trail by three at the break.

    The loss of Songaila was crucial. The 6-foot-9 junior had gone 11-for-12 from the field for 27 points in a 23-point win Tuesday against No. 8 Virginia and had hit his first two shots in the early going this game.

    Wake Forest's other big man Shoemaker the ACC's top rebounder, picked up three fouls in the half and missed six minutes as the Demon Deacons' depth was tested.

    Josh Howard joined the foul parade by getting two in a 44-second span early in the second half to give him four and he too headed to the bench.

    Haywood was 6-for-25 from the foul line in his last five games, but the 7-footer had a big opening 20 minutes with Songaila on the bench. He scored 14 points, including 6-for-6 free throws, and had seven rebounds.

    "Either he was going to gear himself up or the coaching staff was going to gear himself up, or both," Odom said of Haywood, who made 9 of 13 shots after averaging five points in the last four games. "That didn't come as any real shock. He tries very hard against us in most cases for some reason."

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