WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Justin Gray walks around all day with
a bulky brace on his right arm that cradles his aching wrist. It
only comes off when he's on the court, and then he forgets all
about his strained tendons.
Gray has shown zero effects of the injury he suffered three
games ago, continuing his torrid shooting streak by scoring 25
points to lead Wake Forest (No. 3 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) to an 81-66 victory over Maryland
on Tuesday night.
"I messed up the tendons in my wrist against Virginia, but I
hope it stays banged up for the rest of the season," Gray said.
"I'm just feeling it right now."
Gray made a season-high six 3-pointers while helping the Demon
Deacons (14-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) avenge their 87-86
loss to Maryland in the first round of the ACC tournament last
Gray was off in that loss, scoring just 14 points.
There was no chance of that in this meeting since Gray is
playing the best basketball of his career. He had 31 points in a
win over Clemson on Saturday, and has 55 points and 11 3-pointers
the past two games.
"Justin has never seen a shot he doesn't like," said guard
Chris Paul, who added 14 points. "Whenever he throws it up, I
think he has a 95 to 99 percent chance of it going in. And no doubt
he wanted to make up for the Maryland game last year, so he was
trying to make everything."
Maryland (9-4, 1-2) played poorly in its second-straight
lopsided loss: The Terrapins were coming off a 36-point loss at North Carolina (No. 4, No. 3).
"We're struggling right now. We're just not playing with the
intensity level needed for us to be successful," Maryland coach
Gary Williams said. "We have to improve. It's pretty obvious we
have to improve."
The Terps started the game with leading scorer John Gilchrist on
the bench for missing an academic assignment. Gilchrist played just
9 minutes, sitting for almost the entire second half and finishing
with two points on 1-of-2 shooting.
Williams said Gilchrist was bothered by a bad back and wrist,
but Gilchrist said he was surprised to get pulled in the second
"I definitely assumed I was going back in the game," he said.
"I was like `Hey, I'm not the type of guy that really cares.' It
didn't even matter, really. It was a coach's decision to fight back
Trouble was, the Terps had little fight against a Wake Forest
team playing as if the game was nothing more than a tuneup for
Saturday's meeting with North Carolina. They opened up firing
behind Gray, and coach Skip Prosser refused to allow them to back
Even when they took a huge lead into halftime, he screamed
"Run!" at the Deacons as they filed off the court to the locker
Prosser kept the intensity all through the second half, standing
up in disgust after Levy missed a 3 and Mike Jones quickly
converted for Maryland with a 3-pointer that cut Wake Forest's lead
to 69-55. Prosser ordered the Deacons to pick it up, and Gray
responded with his sixth 3-pointer.
Gray scored 16 points in a stretch of 5:05 of the first half,
hitting four 3-pointers. Every time he let the ball go, it seemed
sure to hit for the second straight game. It was a similar stretch
to Saturday, when Gray scored 15 points in 3 minutes.
Although the Deacons played well in the first half, the Terps'
poor play was the reason Wake Forest rolled to a 47-26 halftime
Maryland was awful in every area during the first half, failing
to set plays or look for shots. Maryland shot just 37 percent in
the first half, missed all seven of its 3-point attempts and
struggled at the line on 2-of-8 free throw shooting.
Maryland finished 1-of-14 from 3-point range.
"We're open for volunteers," Williams said. "We're not a good
shooting team right now."