Deacs Overcome Miami, 68-63

Wake Forest overcame a subpar offensive performance Tuesday night, holding Miami to 33 percent shooting in the second half to win 68-63 and retain its lead in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The fifth-ranked Demon Deacons enjoyed their biggest lead at 61-53 with 4{ 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. The streak 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.

Eric Williams and Chris Paul each scored 13 points for Wake Forest, and Justin Gray added 11.

Guillermo Diaz led the Hurricanes with 20 points, and Harris had 14. Robert Hite totaled six, 12 below his average.

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.

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, and after Harris missed, Gray sank two free throws with 3 seconds remaining to clinch the victory.

Diaz capped a 9-0 run by the Hurricanes with a dunk to put them ahead 19-15. He scored 10 consecutive Miami points for a 25-22 lead.

The score was 33-all at halftime.


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