2:00 PM ET, December 18, 2004
Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston-salem, North Carolina
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Wake Forest finally won with defense, even if it wasn't how coach Skip Prosser would like to draw it up.His man-to-man didn't work, and neither did a triangle-in-two. So he decided on a zone, and that finally stopped Texas (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP)."I would rather not have done it, but right now, we are still not Roger Clemens," Prosser said. "We are still a little bit of a junk-ball pitcher."With the Longhorns stymied, Chris Paul had 23 points and a career-high 12 assists and Eric Williams added 19 points in a 89-88 victory for Wake Forest (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) on Saturday.Kenton Paulino missed an 18-foot jumper just before the buzzer that would have won it for the Longhorns (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP)."That shot at the end, I looked at it and he looked like he was going to make it," Paul said.Vytas Danelius, banished to the bench in the previous game, gave the Demon Deacons (9-1) the lead for good with a reverse layup in traffic with about 3½ minutes left. The hosts went 6-of-8 on free throws down the stretch to seal it.P.J. Tucker tied a career high with 27 points and added 14 rebounds for the Longhorns (7-2), and Brad Buckman finished with 17 points. This was a rematch of a game last season won by Texas 94-81 behind 21 points from then-freshman Tucker."It really doesn't matter to me," Tucker said of his performance. "If I would not have scored and got the win, I would be happier."Against the zone, the Longhorns struggled. They went four straight possessions without scoring, and three of them ended in long 3-pointers after only a couple passes. Tucker didn't touch the ball."We must continue to work inside and outside," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We talked the entire game about being aggressive from start to finish, and again, we cannot go five trips without going inside."Paul set a new best for assists for the second straight game, topping the 11 he had Wednesday night against Elon. Wake Forest struggled to win that one, and Danelius missed the final 16 minutes after Prosser sent him to the bench for an undisclosed transgression.Danelius was kept out of the starting lineup for the first time this season Saturday, and he played only 13 minutes. Still, he came through with his clutch basket, only his second of the game."He played hard," Prosser said of Danelius. "We think he's a very talented player."Justin Gray had 15 points for the Deacons.The frantic final minutes started when Texas took its first lead since midway through the first half on a jumper by Jason Klotz that made it 64-63 with 11:30 left. That came during a 2½-minute span that featured six lead changes and some of the best play of the game."It was a great college basketball game, it really was," Barnes said. "Even with everything that happened, it came to one possession. We had a chance."Daniel Gibson made a 3-pointer before Klotz scored, and Williams responded with two fast-break layups after passes from Paul. Another 3 by Gibson gave the Longhorns a two-point lead, Williams got loose again down low to tie it and Kenny Taylor swished a jumper from beyond the arc for a 72-69 lead for Texas.After another basket by Williams -- he had 15 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half -- Texas scored the next four points to go back ahead, including a spectacular putback by Taylor. He jumped, reached back over his head to grab the rebound and then threw it back in, all in one motion.But the Demon Deacons rallied to retake the lead. The comeback was directed by Paul, a sophomore and preseason All-American.He drove the length of the floor and hit a spinning layup as he was fouled by Paulino. Then, after Paulino missed a 3 on the other end, Paul again went to the basket, this time scoring over the 6-foot-9 Klotz to make it 77-76."That was my little secret there," Paul said about his moves. "I just took what they gave me."Four straight points, capped by Tucker's layup, gave Texas the lead at 80-77 before a dunk by Williams put Wake in position to go ahead on Danelius' layup."Chris Paul puts so much pressure on you, and Eric Williams is very strong," Barnes said. "They lead an outstanding offensive team, and those two will score. We can and will defend better than we did, but I take nothing away from Wake Forest's great offensive efforts."