5:30 PM ET, January 2, 2005
Justin Gray in a 13-0 run early in the second half and seven from Paul in the clinching burst after Virginia closed within seven.Singletary, one of the nation's most highly regarded point guards coming out of high school and the ACC's rookie of the week three times already this season, made his only field goal early in the second half and finished with two points, six assists and three turnovers in 24 minutes."This was a huge game for us," Paul said of the Deacons' seventh straight victory, which ended a string of eight in a row won by the home team in the series. "Nobody on our team had won a game here. Like coach told us, it's a new season, so it's 1-0 in the ACC right now."The Demon Deacons (12-1, 1-0) led 44-39 before Jamaal Levy's putback sparked the first run in the second half. Gray had a three-point play and a 3-pointer in the burst and Eric Williams finished it with a free throw, giving Wake Forest a 57-39 lead with 15:22 remaining.The Cavaliers (8-2, 0-1) immediately scored nine straight points and closed to 61-54 with 11:37 left, but Paul scored half the Deacons' points in the 14-5 run that rebuilt their lead to 75-59 with 7:57 left.What Singletary saw, Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said, was their best game, and a textbook show of leadership by the sophomore Paul."He's cognizant of the fact that, being the quarterback, that he has to play well for us to play well, especially away from home," Prosser said. "I wouldn't trade him for any point guard in the country."Paul, who had nine assists, hit the floor hard after a foul with 1:42 left, the final salvo in a bruising game that had a sellout crowd jeering what it perceived as uneven officiating throughout. Several near skirmishes also developed on the court, but without any punches thrown.The intensity made playing well sweeter for Paul."Guys are going to try and push your buttons. Guys want to try to test you and see where your heart is," he said. "You just have to play through it. When guys are being aggressive on you defensively, you've got to be just as aggressive offensively."The loss, which came in just the Cavaliers' second game since Dec. 8, was the 10th straight for Virginia in its conference opener."We just pretty much stopped playing," forward Jason Clark said. "We didn't defend. We didn't rebound. We didn't execute on offense. When you do that against a great team like Wake, that's what happens -- they take advantage of it and the next thing you know, you're down by 20."Gray had 17 points for the Deacons, all but three despite a queasy stomach in the second half, and Williams had 15 points and 10 rebounds.The Demon Deacons shot 50.9 percent to Virginia's 42.4 percent and outrebounded the Cavaliers 45-28, including 28-12 after halftime.Freshman Adrian Joseph, starting in place of injured leading scorer Devin Smith, had 15 points in the first half and led the Cavaliers with 19. J.R. Reynolds added 17 and Gary Forbes had 13.Wake Forest shot almost 58 percent in the first half and used a 10-2 run midway through the half to take a lead it never relinquished.The Demon Deacons had a five-point trip downcourt late in the half when Virginia coach Pete Gillen drew a technical for arguing an offensive foul call. Paul made both free throws and Taron Downey hit a 3-pointer, the Deacons' sixth of the half, to give them a 42-34 lead.Forbes' 3 for the Cavaliers made it 42-37 at halftime.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||28-55 (.509)||25-59 (.424)|
|3P Made-Attempted||9-16 (.563)||8-16 (.500)|
|FT Made-Attempted||24-31 (.774)||12-20 (.600)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||22 (0/0)||22 (0/0)|