WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Chris Paul and record-setting shooting from the foul line led Wake Forest to a huge win in a clash of two of the top scoring teams in the nation.
Paul scored 26 points and third-ranked Wake Forest sank all 32 of its free throws to snap fourth-ranked North Carolina's 14-game winning streak with a 95-82 victory in an Atlantic Coast Conference battle.
By going perfect from the line, the Demon Deacons shattered the ACC record of 22-of-22 achieved by North Carolina State in 1985 and 2003. The performance did fall short of the NCAA record of 34, accomplished by UC-Irvine in 1981 and matched by Samford in 1990.
"I think that if you follow us, you will see that as an aberration," Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said. "We needed all 32 of those, especially down the stretch. We knew Carolina would make a run, so I'm glad we made our free throws."
Wake Forest, which had 10 attempts in the final 1:29 of the game, entered the contest shooting 66 percent from the stripe.
Although the Tar Heels (14-2, 3-1 ACC) entered the game as the top-scoring team in the nation at 93.7 points per game, it was the Demon Deacons' defense that starred early.
Last in the ACC in field-goal defense last season, Wake Forest (15-1, 4-0) held North Carolina to 36 percent (11-of-31) shooting and took a 43-33 lead at halftime behind 15 points from Paul. Downey chipped in nine points behind three 3-pointers.
"I think everyone was surprised at our defense," Wake Forest forward Eric Williams said. "They always say that we win by outscoring our opponents, but you have to give us credit because our defense has been pretty good thus far in ACC play."
In the second half, the Demon Deacons used a 15-3 run to push their advantage to 58-41 in the first five minutes. Justin Gray and Chris Ellis both made a 3-pointer during the spurt.
The Tar Heels cut their deficit to 66-58 with 8:28 remaining on a jumper by Rashad McCants. But Ellis made a layup and Gray added another 3-pointer moments later to push the lead back to 12.
"In the second half, we were more competitive. But again, you have to congratulate Wake," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "I'm disappointed in the result and the way we played, but I think it was a heck of a college basketball game. You've got to have some help from the other team to come back against a team like this, especially from the free throw line, and they didn't help us there at all."
North Carolina, which entered the game leading the nation in 3-point shooting (44.1), shot just 28 percent (7-of-25) from the arc.
Paul, who outdueled fellow point guard Raymond Felton, handed out eight assists, grabbed six rebounds and collected five steals. Felton struggled from the field, going 5-of-18 with 16 points.
"He's got a knack, he can weave down and use his teammates and himself," said Roy Williams about Paul's effectiveness. "He's got an instinct of getting to the basket, he's got the ability to get to the basket, hang, draw a foul and finish the play. He's got a slight build - he's not Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he plays like he is that size."
Downey scored 18 points and Gray chipped in 13 for Wake Forest, which has won 10 straight games and four of five against ranked teams this season.
Ellis and Vytas Danelius added 11 points apiece for the Demon Deacons, who outscored the speedy Tar Heels, 22-17, in fast-break points.
McCants shot 8-of-12 for 19 points and Marvin Williams added 15 before fouling out for North Carolina, which finished with 28 team fouls and had three players - including starter Jackie Manuel - disqualified due to fouls.
Jawad Williams, who leads the ACC in field-goal percentage, shot 3-of-8 for 12 points and Sean May had nine and nine rebounds for the Tar Heels, who finished 40 percent (27-of-67) from the floor.