Wake Forest Defeats No. 17 Gonzaga, 77-75
Dec. 5, 2009
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - C.J. Harris scored 19 points and Wake Forest upset No. 17 Gonzaga 77-75 on Saturday in a physical matchup that featured several technicals and the game-changing ejection of Gonzaga's second-leading scorer and top rebounder.
Freshman reserve Ari Stewart scored 17 for Wake Forest (5-2), which was coming off consecutive losses.
Matt Bouldin scored 22 for Gonzaga (6-2), which had won five in a row.
Gonzaga was in control 31-22 late in the first half, when a flagrant foul by freshman Elias Harris on Chas McFarland led to his ejection and a seven-point swing that brought Wake Forest back to life.
Gonzaga was leading 38-36 early in the second when Wake Forest went on a 19-3 run, including consecutive 3-pointers by Stewart.
McFarland, Wake's 7-foot center, fouled out with 5:35 left and Wake Forest leading 68-61. After a 3-pointer, Bouldin sank two free throws to cut Gonzaga's deficit to 68-66 with 4:03 left.
The teams traded baskets until Al-Farouq Aminu's stuff gave Wake Forest a 76-73 lead with just over a minute left. Gonzaga's Steven Gray missed a 3-pointer to tie and Aminu was fouled on the other end. But he missed both free throws and Gonzaga rebounded with 30 seconds left. Gray was fouled as he launched a 3-pointer with 8 seconds left.
Gray sank his first but missed the next two. Stewart rebounded and was fouled with 5.8 seconds left. He sank one for a 77-74 lead, but missed the second. Bouldin rebounded for Gonzaga but was immediately fouled to avoid a 3-point basket that would have tied the game. Bouldin made one with 3.7 seconds left and deliberately missed the second for the final score.
Gonzaga appeared to be coasting in the first when C.J. Harris was fouled by Bouldin while shooting a 3-pointer. Elias Harris hit McFarland in the throat with an elbow as the two were fighting for rebounding position. McFarland was knocked to the ground, but stayed in the game. Harris - Gonzaga's second-leading scorer at 14 points per game and leading rebounder at eight - was ejected for the flagrant foul.
Harris made four of the five free throws to cut Gonzaga's lead to 31-26 with just over two minutes left. Wake Forest also got possession back, and Stewart sank a 3-pointer to complete a seven-point swing.
Stewart's long 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Wake Forest a 34-33 halftime lead.
Gonzaga is 65-4 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since the building opened in 2004. They had to rally from a 15-point deficit to beat Washington State at home earlier this week.
This is the first meeting between the teams, who have signed to play four times. This is only Wake Forest's second game in the state of Washington. They beat Washington in 1977.
Gonzaga is 10-5 versus ACC teams.