Virginia Falls To No. 6 Wake Forest, 90-68
Feb. 27, 2005
By JENNA FRYER
AP Sports Writer
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Justin Gray scored 20 points to keep No. 6 WakeForest in contention for the Atlantic Coast Conference title with a 90-68victory over Virginia on Sunday.
Chris Paul and Eric Williams each scored 17 points for the Demon Deacons,who improved to 15-0 at home this season. Wake Forest (24-4, 11-3) is one-halfgame behind No. 2 North Carolina, which played at Maryland on Sunday night, forfirst place in the league.
But Wake Forest holds the tiebreaker over Carolina, and can earn the topseed in the ACC tournament by winning its final two games and getting one lossfrom the Tar Heels.
Vytas Danelius was 5-for-5 from the field and scored 13 points for theDeacons, who emptied their bench late in the game and were chastised by theofficials for raucously cheering when junior John Buck dunked with just secondsto go.
Wake Forest played through a spirited first half that saw Paul fuming afterreceiving a few early elbows from Virginia freshman Sean Singletary. Paulstopped at one point and stood in the lane, hands on his hips and a scowl onhis face, as he glared in the direction of the officials.
The tension dates to their Jan. 27 meeting, which was marked by physicalplay the entire game and ended with Paul getting knocked to the floor late on ahard foul.
Not much had changed, as Paul was again knocked down when Elton Brown shovedhim from behind after a whistle late in the first half. Paul lay face down onthe court, then banged his fists in anger before getting up.
When Brown wasn’t called for a technical foul, Wake Forest coach SkipProsser erupted on the sidelines. Twice told to calm down by the officials,Prosser was given a technical – his first of the season – with 6:19 left in thehalf.
Reynolds made two free throws for Virginia to end a 5-minute scoring droughtfor the Cavaliers and cut Wake Forest’s lead to 28-19.
Prosser eventually calmed down, and Paul got his revenge on the floor bytwice freezing Singletary as he blew by him for a layup. He also embarrassedSmith, when standing still just past the midcourt line, he snatched the ballaway from him and raced ahead for his first dunk of the season.
He helped the Deacons take a 44-31 halftime lead and the makings of arunaway win.
But Virginia came out firing in the second half and sliced Wake Forest’slead to 46-41.
Wake Forest pulled it together behind senior Taron Downey, who ran the courtand helped the Deacons pull away.
Singletary left with 14:48 to play when he injured his knee as he and Graytangled and fell to the court. Singletary was called for a foul on the play,but as he was helped off the court, he shot a nasty glare in Gray’s direction.
Singletary, who averages 10.3 points and four assists a game, returned with11:25 left and quickly made a 3-pointer. But he was clearly playing in pain -Paul yelled over to Wake Forest’s bench “Singletary can barely walk” when theDeacons tried to give Paul a rest – and Singletary fouled out with 10:56 toplay.
He finished with seven points and no assists.