Cleveland State Upsets Wake Forest in NCAA Tournament

March 20, 2009

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MIAMI, Fla. - Cleveland State scored the first nine points of the game and never looked back, as the 13th-seeded Vikings upset fourth-seeded Wake Forest, 84-69, on Friday evening at American Airlines Arena.

With the loss, the Demon Deacons end the season at 24-7 overall (11-5 ACC). The Vikings improve to 26-10 overall and move on to face 12th-seeded Arizona on Sunday afternoon.

James Johnson led Wake Forest with 22 points and eight rebounds. Johnson went 8-for-13 from the field, including a 4-of-5 mark from three-point range, and posted his sixth 20+ point performance in his last eight games.

Johnson also finished with four blocks as Wake Forest turned in a season-high 13 as a team.

Jeff Teague reached the 1,000-point plateau after finishing with 10 points. Teague registered his 1,000th point with a free throw at the 2:35 mark of the second half. He ends the year with exactly 1,000 points in his two-year career.

Teague also extended his ACC-best double-figure scoring streak to 35 games and dished out a team-best five assists.

Al-Farouq Aminu finished with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting. The freshman forward also pulled down six board and had two blocks.

Freshman Tony Woods made his first career start in place of Chas McFarland. McFarland came off the bench to register four points, five rebounds and three blocks.

Cleveland State began the game on fire, scoring the first nine points on three three-pointers. The Vikings, who would make five of their first six three-point attempts, continued the onslaught and led 14-4 at the first media timeout.

The Deacons were able to cut the deficit to 18-10 but CSU went on an 11-2 run to take a 29-12 lead with just under nine minutes to play in the first half.

Trailing 37-21 at the 4:43 mark, Wake Forest closed the first half with a 9-2 run. Johnson capped the run with a three-pointer with 32 seconds left, cutting the deficit to 39-30 at halftime.

Johnson had a game-high 15 points at halftime and made each of his three three-point attempts in the period. The Deacons also had nine blocks in the first period, as Johnson and McFarland had three apiece.

Wake Forest cut the Cleveland State lead to seven on multiple occasions early in the second half. However, the Deacons could not pull closer as they trailed by nine, 55-46, at the second media timeout of the half.

A three-point play by David Weaver pulled Wake Forest to within six at 55-49 at the 11:04 mark. However, CSU responded with a three-pointer and then another bucket to push its lead back to 11.

The Vikings continued with an 11-2 run to take a 66-51 advantage with seven minutes left in the game. Wake could not get closer than 12 the rest of the game.

Wake Forest shot 52.0 percent from the field and hit 5-of-13 three-point attempts. It was the Deacons' 17th performance shooting above 50 percent this season.

The Deacons out-rebounded the Vikings, 33-32, but CSU pulled down 14 offensive boards and scored 19 points on second-chance opportunities.

Wake Forest's 13 blocked shots were a season-high, besting the previous mark of 11 set at Clemson on Jan. 17.



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