(5) Wake Forest 68

(22-3, 10-2 ACC)

Miami (FL) 63

(15-8, 6-6 ACC)

    7:00 PM ET, February 15, 2005

    BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Florida

    1 2 T
    #5WAKE 33 3568
    MIA 33 3063

    Top Performers

    Wake Forest: C. Paul 13 Pts, 6 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    Miami (FL): G. Diaz 20 Pts, 2 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Harris misses late jumper for tie

    Associated Press

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Wake Forest's potent offense misfired Tuesday night, so the Demon Deacons relied on defense for a change.

    By holding Miami to 33 percent shooting in the second half, No. 5 Wake Forest won 68-63 to retain its lead in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

    "We're used to running, scoring in the 80s and the 90s," guard Chris Paul said. "Tonight we did just enough to win. I think it really shows how far along our team is."

    The Demon Deacons enjoyed their biggest lead at 61-53 with 4½ minutes left. Miami rallied and had one shot to tie, but Anthony Harris' 22-footer fell short with 5 seconds to go.

    Wake Forest (22-3, 10-2) earned its sixth straight win, a streak that includes two victories over Miami (15-8, 6-6).

    The Demon Deacons reached 10 conference victories for only the second time in the past eight seasons. The latest win came even though Wake Forest had its lowest point total since December, 18 points shy of its average of 86 per game.

    "Usually we can score," coach Skip Prosser said. "Tonight when we didn't, our defense carried the day. It's nice to talk about a game we won because of how we guarded."

    The Hurricanes shot 47 percent in the first half but finished at 39, shooting 12-for-36 in the second half. They finished 3-for-18 from 3-point range after making 13 3-pointers in a loss at Wake Forest last month.

    "We knew they were really good 3-point shooters," Demon Deacons center Eric Williams said. "We tried to take the 3 away from them. We just decided that if they wanted to drive, drive, because we weren't going to give away any 3s."

    Williams and Paul each scored 13 points for the Demon Deacons, and Justin Gray added 11.

    "They didn't have a great night shooting the ball, but found a way to win," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "That shows they're a top-notch team. They're experienced, and they come at you in waves -- they're a deep ballclub."

    Guillermo Diaz led the Hurricanes with 20 points. Harris added 14 but was limited to 23 minutes because of cramps. Robert Hite totaled six, 12 below his average.

    Taron Downey hit a 3-pointer to put Wake Forest ahead to stay, 47-44 midway through the second half. Gray's 3-pointer made it 59-53, and Trent Strickland then scored to put the Demon Deacons up by eight points for the first time.

    Hite intercepted a pass and made the ensuing layup to cut the margin to 63-59, and Diaz hit two free throws to make it 63-61 with 1:32 to go.

    Paul sliced through the lane for a layup, and Diaz scored again for Miami to make it 65-63 with 20 seconds to go. Strickland made one of two free throws, but Harris missed over Jamaal Levy from beyond the top of the key.

    "I saw that it was going straight to the goal, and I thought it might go in," Levy said. "But it came up short."

    Gray sank two free throws with 3 seconds remaining to clinch the victory.

    "We're playing right now like we have a lot to lose," Williams said. "We didn't come out squeaky clean, but we found a way to win. I think that's our mentality right now: We're fighting for something, and we're just going to keep fighting."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 68 63
    FG Made-Attempted 27-62 (.435) 26-66 (.394)
    3P Made-Attempted 6-19 (.316) 3-18 (.167)
    FT Made-Attempted 8-12 (.667) 8-12 (.667)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 15 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 8 4

    2004-05 Season

    Jan 29, 2005 @WAKE 94, MIA 82Recap
    » Feb 15, 2005 WAKE 68, @MIA 63Recap