Deacons hold off Rams

RALEIGH, NC–Virginia Commonwealth gave Wake Forest all they could handle, but in the end the Demon Deacons just had a little too much fire power for the upstart Rams. The Demon Deacons prevail 79-78 to advance in the NCAA Tournament.

The Deacons hit their free throws down the stretch and made just enough stops to hold off the pesky Rams. VCU had their chances to take the lead in the final minute, but a missed shot and an errant pass and the ensuing foul shots ended any chance of the day's second upset.

Freshman Chris Paul played like a seasoned veteran. He scored 22 points, making a sensational 12-15 free throws. He also dished seven assists. Domonic Jones gave his all, but just couldn't make the big bucket in the final minute. He hit a late runner and a three at the buzzer, but it was too late with the way Wake Forest was making their free throws.

Jones, matched Paul with a game-high 22 points and was a perfect 3-3 from behind the arc.

It was steady three point shooting that kept the 13th seeded Rams in the ball game. They connected on 11 triples, getting 4-5 shooting from B.A. Walker. All told they were a stellar 11-20 from long range.

The final difference was foul shots and turnovers. VCU committed six more turnovers, while attempting 14 fewer foul shots.

Jamaal Levy had a double-double, while Eric Williams missed it by two rebounds. Levy had the minimum 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Williams chipped in 12 points and the eight boards.

Justin Gray added 15 points for the Deacons who will move on to face Manhattan in the second round of the East Rutherford region.

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