Feb. 12, 2005
By KEITH PARSONS
AP Sports Writer
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Justin Gray scored 20 points, Eric Williams had
15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds and No. 6 Wake Forest avenged a
heartbreaking loss earlier in the season by routing Florida State 87-48 on
Sixth-man Taron Downey ran his streak of 3-pointers to six before finally
missing and finished with 14 points for the Demon Deacons (21-3, 9-2 Atlantic
Coast Conference), who lost in overtime at Tallahassee three weeks ago. In that
one, Downey missed a free throw with less than a second left in regulation that
would have won it, and Wake Forest came out intent on not letting this one slip
Von Wafer had 16 points for the Seminoles (11-13, 3-8), who tied it at 17
midway through the first half before their troubles began. They couldn’t hold
on to the ball, and when they did, shots that had been going in clanged off the
rim, and the Deacons got their vaunted running game going.
Trent Strickland converted a pass from Gray into a layup, the start of a
31-11 run to close the half. Florida State was 1-of-11 at one point and had 11
turnovers in the first 20 minutes, while Wake Forest got points on 11 of 12
possessions to take control.
Downey made it 39-20 with a 3 and an easy basket after a steal, forcing a
timeout by Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton. Adam Waleskowski momentarily
stopped the drought with a layup, and Chris Paul was called for a charge on the
other end to give the ball back to Florida State. That was Paul’s second foul
of the half, and he left for good with 4:53 left.
The Deacons hardly missed their star point guard. Jamaal Levy and Gray each
made two free throws, Strickland slammed home a putback and Downey swished
another jumper from beyond the arc to increase the margin to 48-24. Four points
just before the break by Wafer kept Florida State within 20.
It didn’t matter. After Alexander Johnson started the second half with a
free throw for the Seminoles, Wake Forest removed any doubt about the outcome
with eight straight points, including a beautiful fast-break basket by Gray. He
faked a behind-the-back pass to Levy to completely fool Wafer, then cruised in
for a layup.
Strickland added 10 points and Paul finished with eight points, seven
assists and seven steals.
Jason Rich scored 11 points for the Seminoles, who have lost four straight
since ending a 26-game road losing streak in the ACC by beating North Carolina
State. They shot only 35 percent against Wake Forest, and their struggles were
epitomized by Al Thornton.
He had 26 points in the upset of the Deacons, but fouled out of the rematch
with about 9 minutes left with only four points.