(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

No. 12 Duke outlasts Wake Forest in shootout

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Duke’s potent offense emerged and six players finished in double-figures as the No. 12 Blue Devils held off Wake Forest 99-94 for an ACC home win.

The Demon Deacons missed a chance to tie with under 30 seconds left but Bryant Crawford missed a difficult driving layup and Amile Jefferson closed out the game at the free-throw line.

The Blue Devils (22-5, 10-4) had a tough time getting late defensive stops, and they missed a few late free throws to keep Wake Forest in the game, but the Blue Devils also couldn’t be stopped on the offensive end.

Luke Kennard paced Duke with a team-high 23 points while Jayson Tatum added 19 points — including two key free throws with 31.1 seconds left to make it a three-point game. Jefferson (16 points), Frank Jackson (12 points), Grayson Allen (11 points) and Matt Jones (10 points) also finished in double-figures for the Blue Devils.

Duke’s defense is going to continue to be a big concern down the stretch and I’m not sure how they fix it. They’re going to this smaller lineup because it is so effective on offense but Jefferson at the five offers minimal rim protection and a lot of the team’s perimeter defenders are average at best. The Blue Devils don’t need to turn into a shutdown team with an offense as good as this, but they can’t let opposing teams get to the rim whenever they want and score with ease as we saw on Saturday.

Wake Forest (15-12, 6-9) did everything they could to stay in this one but they’ll just end up with two very close losses to Duke during the regular season. Big man John Collins continued to show that he’s one of the best players in the ACC with 31 points and 15 rebounds. Crawford added 21 points while Keyshawn Woods added 13 points.

The Demon Deacons found themselves down for most of the second half but they fought as hard as possible to stay in this one. One notable thing about the end of this game is how Wake Forest went away from Collins with less than two minutes left. While Wake Forest often found themselves down by three or four points during this stretch, they forced a lot of contested looks — some of them two-pointers — as they ended up falling.

It’ll be interesting to see if Collins becomes more of an offensive focal point down the stretch of tight games. Wake Forest still has three games left and two of them are coming at home against Pitt and Louisville while they still travel to Virginia Tech. For Wake to feel comfortable about its postseason chances they probably need to win two of those three games.

Allen scores 30, No. 17 Duke holds off Wake Forest 79-71

(AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Grayson Allen scored 30 points and No. 17 Duke beat Wake Forest 79-71 on Tuesday night.

Marshall Plumlee added 13 points and matched a career high with 17 rebounds, and freshman Brandon Ingram finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Blue Devils (22-8, 11-6 Atlantic Coast Conference).

They overcame some cold early shooting and shot 46 percent in the second half to earn their 17th straight home victory over Wake Forest.

Devin Thomas had 16 points and 13 rebounds and freshman Bryant Crawford scored 15 points for the Demon Deacons (11-19, 2-16). Codi Miller-McIntyre added 13 points, and his layup with 38.6 seconds left pulled them to 76-70.

Allen followed with a free throw with 37.9 seconds left, Miller-McIntyre missed a rushed 3 and Allen hit two more free throws with 26.6 seconds remaining to ice it.

Matt Jones finished with 14 points for the Blue Devils, who were playing their third game in six days. This one came two days after a 14-point loss at Pittsburgh in which coach Mike Krzyzewski lamented his team’s fatigue.

They needed every ounce of energy they could muster to hold off a Wake Forest team that hadn’t won here since Tim Duncan suited up in 1997. The Demon Deacons lost each of their last 16 here by double figures, and the last five by at least 18 points.

For much of the night, they didn’t play like a team that has lost 14 of 15 – with the lone victory coming against a Boston College team that’s winless in the ACC – or a group that hasn’t won a league game on the road in more than two full years.

This was a one-possession game for the first 11 minutes of the second half. Wake Forest closed to 70-65 on Thomas’ free throw with 1:40 left before Chase Jeter hit a foul shot with 1:26 to go to put Duke back up by six. Jeter missed his second attempt and Thomas grabbed the rebound but immediately threw it away to Ingram. Allen then hit two free throws to stretch the lead to 73-65 with 1:14 left.


Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons, whose only victory over a Top 25 team came against then-No. 13 Indiana in the Maui Invitational, have not beaten two away from Winston-Salem since 2009-10. Facing a school-record 11th ranked opponent, they fell to 1-10 against them.

Duke: This was Allen’s third straight game against Wake Forest with at least 24 points. The breakout game of his freshman season came here in last year’s meeting, and he scored 27 against them last month in Winston-Salem.


Wake Forest plays in the first round of the ACC Tournament on March 8 in Washington.

Duke hosts No. 8 North Carolina on Saturday night.

Follow Joedy McCreary at http://twitter.com/joedyap. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joedy-mccreary

AP college basketball site: http://collegebasketball.ap.org

Wake Forest suspends Thomas, dismisses Hudson from hoop team

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Wake Forest has suspended leading scorer and rebounder Devin Thomas for two games and kicked forward Cornelius Hudson off the team for violating undisclosed athletic department policy.

Coach Danny Manning said Friday that the players “have had lapses of judgment and hopefully they will learn from this.”

Thomas averages team bests of 15.8 points and 10.2 rebounds and leads all active Atlantic Coast Conference players with 1,029 rebounds. He will miss home games against Boston College on Sunday and against No. 19 Notre Dame on Feb. 24 before returning for the home finale against Virginia Tech on Feb. 28.

Hudson is a sophomore who scored a career-high 22 points with six 3-pointers in his last game against Pittsburgh.

The Demon Deacons (10-16, 1-13) have lost 11 straight games.

Jackson, Auguste lead No. 25 Notre Dame over Wake 85-62

AP Photo/Robert Franklin
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Zach Auguste had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Demetrius Jackson added 14 points in his return to the starting lineup as No. 25 Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 85-62 on Sunday.

V.J. Beachem added 15 points for the Fighting Irish (15-6, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Jackson, who missed a game with a pulled hamstring in a win over Boston College last week, added eight assists and seven rebounds. Notre Dame’s leading scorer missed Thursday’s loss to Syracuse.

Devin Thomas had 19 points and eight rebounds for Wake Forest (10-11, 1-8), which never led. The Demon Deacons have lost six in a row.

VIDEO: Darius Thompson drills game-winning 3 as No. 11 Virginia survives Wake Forest

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Virginia continued to struggle on the road on Tuesday night but the No. 11 Cavaliers found magic late in a 72-71 ACC road win over Wake Forest. After going scoreless for the entire game, Darius Thompson banked in a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cavaliers the unlikely comeback victory.

The Cavaliers started the game 1-for-13 from 3-point range and made a furious rally late by finally finding their perimeter stroke. Wake Forest led 70-63 with 24 seconds left and had possession but Bryant Crawford turned the ball over and the Demon Deacons went 3-for-8 from the free-throw line in the game’s final 38 seconds. Virginia took advantage by hitting three 3-pointers in the game’s final 17 seconds.

Shooting 29 percent (5-for-17) from 3-point range for the game, Virginia’s offense couldn’t get going until it was nearly too late. The Cavaliers (16-4, 5-3) were essentially buried once the Demon Deacons had a second-half stretch of five minutes where they made five 3-pointers and pulled ahead by double-digits. But, once again, Virginia had enough big shots late to pull out an unlikely win.

Malcolm Brogdon led Virginia with 28 points and the senior was one of the few perimeter options that could create anything. Anthony Gill also chipped in 15 points for Virginia.

Bryant Crawford led Wake Forest by finishing with 22 points on 8-for-10 shooting while Devin Thomas (19 points) and Dinos Mitoglou (11 points) also finished in double-figures.

This comeback win is important for Virginia because another road loss to a mediocre opponent would have been a back-breaker. Virginia would have been 0-4 in the ACC with losses to Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Wake Forest — not exactly the conference’s elite. While the road struggles for Virginia are still concerning — they’re 2-3 on the road this season against mediocre competition — you have to give them credit for being resilient enough to shake off the poor early shooting to hit shots late.

If Virginia wants to remain in the ACC title hunt they’re going to need to step things up on the road because it isn’t going to get any easier. The Cavaliers travel to Louisville next and they still have road games at Pitt, Duke, Miami and Clemson. The road won’t get any easier for Virginia away from Charlottesville from here and they need to fix these slow road starts immediately.

Johnson scores 27, No. 2 UNC beats Wake Forest 83-68

AP Photo/Gerry Broome
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) North Carolina got away with Marcus Paige having one of his lowest-scoring games because Brice Johnson came through with one of his best.

Johnson had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and the second-ranked Tar Heels beat Wake Forest 83-68 on Wednesday night for their 10th straight win.

Despite not having any other double-figure scorers, the Tar Heels (17-2, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) extended their best start to conference play since 2000-01, coasting through a second half in which they made just nine field goals and shot 26.5 percent.

“We had the mentality that we were going to outscore them, not defend them,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to not have that mentality going forward.”

The Tar Heels never trailed and overcame one of their worst shooting performances of the season (38.4 percent) by forcing Wake Forest into 19 turnovers and turning them into 21 points.

North Carolina – which appears in line to return to No. 1 after Oklahoma’s loss earlier this week – reeled off 12 straight points late in the first half to build a comfortable lead, then went up by 27 after halftime.

That all happened despite very little falling for Paige, who Johnson called “a ticking time bomb waiting to happen.” Coach Roy Williams said he’s “never had a player that I’ve had more confidence in in my entire life than Marcus Paige.”

The star guard missed his first seven shots before he flipped one in from the lane with about 5 1/2 minutes left. He matched a career low with two points and is a combined 3 for 25 since his 30-point game at Florida State.

“As long as we win, I’m fine,” Paige said. “I’ll be ready when I’m needed to make shots. Tonight, we didn’t need me to make very many shots. … We just played better than them tonight, so I’m not too worried about (the slump).”

It sure helped to have Johnson, who was 8 of 12 in matching the second-highest-scoring game of his career, surpassed only by the 39 points he put up against Florida State on Jan. 4. He also matched a career high by making 11 free throws.

Bryant Crawford scored 18 points and Devin Thomas had 17 for the Demon Deacons (10-8, 1-5), who fell to 5-21 in the Dean Smith Center. They lost their third straight overall and have dropped five of six in January.

“In the second half, we did some better things,” coach Danny Manning said, “but at that point it was too far in the ballgame.”

The Tar Heels broke this one open with that big run late in the first half, a burst started by Johnson’s back-to-back buckets – including a pretty turnaround hook shot from the baseline. Luke Maye had two tip-ins during the run, including one that made it 42-23 with just under 3 minutes left before the break.


“`Satisfaction’ is not part of my language right now.” – Williams, irritated at his team’s second-half performance.


Television viewers missed about 45 minutes of the ESPN2 broadcast due to what ESPN called technical difficulties. North Carolina officials said the signal was leaving the arena fine, but was having trouble somewhere between Chapel Hill and Bristol. The feed finally started to work during the final moments of the first half.


Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons haven’t won in Chapel Hill since 2010, and since that night, they’ve won just three ACC road games.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels were without 6-foot-10 forward Joel James, who has an injured Achilles tendon. James made seven of his eight starts while Kennedy Meeks was injured but averages only 10.6 minutes and 2.9 points.


Wake Forest visits No. 15 Miami on Saturday.

North Carolina plays at Virginia Tech on Sunday.

Follow Joedy McCreary at http://twitter.com/joedyap. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joedy-mccreary

AP college basketball site: http://collegebasketball.ap.org