Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Deacons outlast scrappy Badgers

[media-credit name=’MATTHEW KUTZ/Herald photo’ align=’alignright’ width=’336′]tucker_mk416[/media-credit]WINSTON SALEM, N.C. — It was a Gray day at The Joel as Wake Forest point guard Justin Gray had a record-setting performance to hand the No. 24 Demon Deacons their sixth win of the season over Wisconsin.

Gray tied a Big Ten/ACC Challenge record with 37 points, a personal high. His effort also marked the first time in three years that a Wake player has reached that milestone.

"If there is a guy going to a spot and shoots the ball and gets 37 points, then that's a problem," head coach Bo Ryan said. "But when you get into a multiple-possession game like this and he gets that many touches and changes to do things and he's in a rhythm, he was scoring in different ways."


"I'd rather have a win with zero points than a loss with 37, but the win feels great. … It was a team effort," Gray said.

Gray sent guard Kammron Taylor and center Greg Stiemsma scrambling all over the court in the first half. Junior Alando Tucker also had Wake guards in a jumble, except the Wake defense was well executed.

The Demon Deacon guards double-teamed Tucker during the first half and held the forward to just four points.

"When I was driving to the basket, I saw three or four guys, so I had to have the confidence to pass the ball to my teammates," Tucker said. "I was trying to force [in] the first half and it was not helping us."

The extra men on Tucker cleared room for Brian Butch and Taylor. Butch led UW in the first half with 12 points, and Taylor added 10.

"[Wake Forest] was stepping off when Alando cut and when our guys made hard cuts, so there were open shots," Butch said.

Halftime ended with Wake leading 37-32.

Wake continued to add noise at the start of the second half and brought the game up to 45-36 on a Gray jumper three minutes into the half.

The Demon Deacons continued to dominate the next five minutes, going up by as many as 10 points.

With 12:50 remaining in the half, Butch added momentum for UW by sinking his first 3-pointer of the evening. A missed lay-up by Wake set up a shot by Landry to bring the game within four.

Wake then dunked two more times to extend their lead to 58-53.

A missed 3-pointer by Tucker gave Wake center Kyle Visser the rebound. However, he quickly turned over the ball before aggressively fouling Jason Chappell.

Chappell responded with two free throws to bring the game within three. A Joe Krabbenhoft lay-up then brought the Badgers within one point.

Gray managed to execute two more points before Tucker shot his first 3 of the evening equalize the game at 60-60.

Chappell, whose father's jersey number is retired at Wake, capitalized on two more free throws to bring Wisconsin up by two.

"I thought Wisconsin played really, really well," Wake head coach Skip Prosser said. "We're up nine, we're up 10, bang, bang, bang. They just hit a ton of big shots. I want to praise those guys."

Wake would control the remainder of the game, as it took the lead by nine points with just four minutes remaining.

Chappell changed the tempo of the final minutes by nailing a clutch 3-pointer. A lay-up by Tucker followed, and the Badgers found themselves in an 81-77 dogfight.

Tucker pushed through the facial injury to bring the game within three with just 42 ticks left on the clock. However, a series of Gray free throws iced the game for the Demon Deacons. He went 13-of-13 from the charity stripe and team went 26-for-29.

"Twenty-six out of 29 is pretty good. … Good shooters have a tendency to be good free-throw shooters," Prosser said. "At the end, of course, we tried to get the ball in the hands of our better free-throw shooters. … They came through."

"From the free-throw line, I always feel confident," Gray said. "I just tried to step up and be confident and knock down the free throws."

After Gray's final free throw, Wisconsin had one last shot to send the game into overtime. Taylor took the ball midway and made one last effort. The ball caromed off the rim in the final second and Wake held on for the 91-88 victory.

"I wanted to hit it," Taylor said. "I mean, I wanted it to go into overtime. We were down three, and you got to think you're going to make it. I was thinking the whole time, if I'm going to shoot it, I'm going to make it. … I definitely thought I could make it.

We have a lot of things to work on. We just got to keep pushing. We are still a young team. It was only our fifth game of the season."

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