No. 6 Wake Forest Defeats No. 1 Duke, 70-68
Jan. 28, 2009
James Johnson's layup with 0.8 seconds remaining helped No. 6 Wake Forest beat No. 1 Duke 70-68 on Wednesday night.
Johnson finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds and freshman Al-Farouq Aminu had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Demon Deacons (17-1, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).
They bounced back from last week's home loss that knocked them from No. 1 by leading the Blue Devils for nearly the entire way - before letting a late 13-point lead slip away and recovering just in time to claim the fifth victory over a top-ranked team in school history.
Kyle Singler had 22 points and 12 rebounds for Duke (18-2, 5-1), which had its 10-game winning streak snapped.
Gerald Henderson added 20 points, and his jumper over Johnson with 10 seconds left tied it at 68, and capped the late 20-7 rally that got them back in the game.
Wake Forest raced downcourt, and Teague and Aminu missed layups in traffic, but during the rebound, Henderson was called for traveling. That gave the back to Wake Forest with 2.6 seconds left, and L.D. Williams inbounded it under the basket to Johnson, whose layup in the final second banked through to the delight of a packed crowd at Joel Coliseum.
Singler's full-court inbounds pass for Henderson was tipped by Williams, sending Wake Forest's tie-dye-clad student section spilling onto the court for the second time this month. They whooped it up in similar fashion 2½ weeks ago when they knocked off then-No. 3 North Carolina.
Jon Scheyer had 13 points and McClure finished with 12 rebounds for Duke, which was playing its first game as No. 1 since 2006 and wound up becoming the latest top-ranked team to fall in Winston-Salem.
Jeff Teague scored 11 points - 10 fewer than his average - on 4-of-14 shooting for the Demon Deacons, who were playing for the first time since their loss to Virginia Tech a week earlier cost them the second No. 1 ranking in school history.
Henderson's jumper capped a remarkable rally for the Blue Devils, who trailed 61-48 with 8:49 remaining.
Singler had 10 points during the burst, which ended with a flurry in the final seconds. Scheyer's 3-pointer from the corner over Johnson hit the front of the rim, but the Duke guard hustled for the rebound and called the Blue Devils' final timeout with 17.4 seconds left. Henderson inbounded the ball to David McClure, who got it back to Henderson for his big jumper.
Wake Forest took its first double-figure lead of the game after a pair of spectacular plays in the open court.
Johnson put the Demon Deacons up 54-43 with 11½ minutes left when his steal from Nolan Smith led to a breakaway dunk. That came seconds after Aminu's highlight-reel jam when he took a between-the-legs feed from Ishmael Smith. They later stretched their lead to 13 when David Weaver laid in Smith's alley-oop pass with 8:49 remaining to make it 61-48.
Weaver - one of two Demon Deacons who are 6-foot-11 or taller to get in the game - finished with nine critical points for Wake Forest. The ACC's leader in both field-goal percentage, on offense and defense, shot 40 percent and held undersized Duke to 33 percent shooting.
That helped Wake Forest overcome a rare 47-43 rebounding disadvantage. The Blue Devils - who used strong offensive rebounding to stay in the game early - managed just three of their 15 offensive boards in the second half. The Demon Deacons outscored Duke 42-24 in the paint.