No. 5 Blue Devils Slip By Deacons 75-70
Jan. 30, 2013
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest fought No. 5 Duke until the end, but a 10-4 run over the final four minutes propelled the Blue Devils to a 75-70 win on Wednesday evening at Joel Coliseum.
The two sides played to a stalemate in the first half, heading into the locker room all knotted up at 40-40. Duke opened the second half with an 8-0 run and appeared to be pulling away, but Wake Forest fought back to take the lead twice, the second time coming on a Tyler Cavanaugh free throw with 4:02 remaining.
A Seth Curry three-pointer with 3:01 left put Duke back in front, and the Blue Devils held on down the stretch to seal the win.
Devin Thomas led Wake Forest with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, and upperclassmen C.J. Harris and Travis McKie trailed just behind him with 14 apiece. McKie also led the team in rebounding with seven boards, with Thomas chipping in six rebounds.
Making his second start of the year and first of the ACC season, Madison Jones dished out five assists to go with four points.
Both teams shot very well in the first half. Wake Forest went 13-of-24 (54.2 percent) in the opening period, while the Blue Devils shot 54.8 percent (17-of-31) from the field. The Devils finished at 51.9 percent shooting while the Deacons ended the night at 48 percent.
Mason Plumlee led all scorers with 32 points, but fell just short of a double-double with nine rebounds. He also notched two assists, two steals and two blocks. Seth Curry joined him in double figures with 21 points, as did Quinn Cook with 12.
Both sides got off to a quick start, but the Deacs were the hotter of the two through the first TV timeout. Duke grabbed a 6-5 lead on a jumper by Cook, but Thomas responded with a layup and a three-point play to put Wake Forest ahead 10-6 at the 15:54 mark.
Neither side could gain much separation over the next six minutes, but Wake Forest remained ahead, maintaining a 25-20 with 9:26 to play after a trio of free throws from Harris.
The Blue Devils grabbed their first lead since being up 6-5 after a jumper from Tyler Thornton made it 29-28, but an emphatic dunk from Aaron Rountree put the Deacs back out in front 34-33 with 4:49 to play.
Duke quickly regained control of the lead and looked as if they might head into halftime with a slight lead, but a great jumper from the top of the key by Harris with 19 seconds left ensured that it would be a tie game, 40-40, going into the locker room.
The Blue Devils came out of the break on fire, hitting their first three shots and putting together an 8-0 run to open up their largest lead of the game, 48-40. Plumlee led the scoring run with a pair of free throws and the dunk that finished it.
Wake Forest would not go away and fought back, slashing the lead to just two, 58-56, after a layup by Thomas with 8:59 left. Two free throws by Arnaud William Adala Moto following a foul by Thornton made the game all square at 58 once again.
Duke jumped back in front with three free throws from Curry, but Adala Moto responded with three shots of his own from the charity stripe to lock things back up at 63-63 with 4:49 remaining. A quick layup by Cook put the Blue Devils back in front, but a three-point play by Tyler Cavanaugh gave the Deacs the lead, 66-65, at the 4:05 mark.
But the Deacs were unable to hang on to that advantage over the final four minutes. Curry's 3-pointer with 3:10 left put Duke up 69-66, a lead that they would not relinquish. Adala Moto had a chance to tie the game with just over a minute to play but could not connect on an open 3-pointer from the left side.
The Demon Deacons will return to action on Saturday, as they travel to the Comcast Center in College Park, Md., to take on Maryland at 2:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on RSN and carried on the airwaves by the Wake Forest IMG Sports Network.