College Basketball: No. 6 Wake Forest 94, BYU 87
PROVO, Utah ó Wake Forest feels pretty-well tested for the ACC season to begin.
The sixth-ranked Demon Deacons just won where no opponent had for more than three years, beating BYU 94-87 Saturday and ending the nation’s longest home winning streak at 53.
Wake Forest had to rally from an eight-point deficit in the second half and an entire game of deafening taunts and chants from the home fans, who were loud and rowdy throughout the night.
“In the ACC, there’s some great crowds but this one was amazing,” said Jeff Teague, who led Wake Forest with 30 points, one off his career high.
James Johnson had 22 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for Wake Forest, who pulled away with an 8-0 run near the end and improved to 13-0 for the first time since the 1996-97 season. The Deacons have a week off before top-ranked North Carolina visits Winston-Salem on Jan. 11. They can use the rest.
Wake Forest won despite going 16-for-25 from the foul line in the second half, allowing the Cougars (11-2) to stay within range until the final minute. The crowd of 26,096 was the second-largest in Marriott Center history and the fans, thousands in matching white BYU T-shirts, were loud and rowdy from the time the Deacons started warming up until the game ended.
“That parallels anything you’ll see in the ACC,” Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio said. “I told my team that was not a good win tonight ó that was a great win against a great team.”
Teague said the ACC crowds aren’t as loud as what he faced Saturday.
The fans were mostly well behaved until a few calls went Wake Forest’s way in the second half and someone threw a water bottle on the floor. BYU coach Dave Rose took the public address microphone and told the fans to leave the game to the players and officials.
BYU had not lost at the Marriott Center since Nov. 18 2005, against Loyola-Marymount in Dave Rose’s coaching debut for the Cougars.
Notre Dame now has the nation’s longest home win streak at 43.
“We didn’t want it to end any time soon,” said Jimmer Fredette, who scored 23 for BYU. “We knew this was going to be a tough opponent. We came out here and we played pretty well. We just didn’t make some plays at the end.”
Al-Farouq Aminu had 12 points and L.D. Williams scored 11 for the Demon Deacons.
BYU led by eight early in the second half but could not hold off the faster Deacons, who broke open an 85-all tie with an 8-0 run.
“We had a lot of opportunities but just could not convert,” Rose said. “Our players are playing hard trying to make things happen. Wake Forest played some great defense late in the game and that gave us trouble.”
Johnson grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a layup to put Wake Forest up 87-85, then pulled down another rebound after BYU missed. Williams and Chas McFarland each made a free throw to put the Deacons ahead 89-85 with 39 seconds left.