• 68°

Wake Forest beats FSU to snap 7-game skid

By Aaron Beard

AP Basketball Writer

WINSTON-SALEM (AP) — Wake Forest finally executed well enough in critical moments to halt its four-week losing streak that had threatened to wound the Demon Deacons’ confidence.

Brandon Childress hit the go-ahead free throws with 44.1 seconds left and Wake Forest did just enough down the stretch to hold off Florida State 76-72 on Wednesday night, snapping a seven-game skid.

The Demon Deacons (9-13, 2-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) had to fight to the final seconds to earn their first win since beating Syracuse at home on Jan. 3. And they sealed this one only when Doral Moore — who came into the game shooting 45 percent from the line — hit a free throw with 2.3 seconds left to make it a two-possession game.

“Having fun, sticking together is one thing we talked about coming into this game,” said Keyshawn Woods, who had 15 points for the Demon Deacons. “And I think we did that.”

Four of Wake Forest’s seven losses had come by double-digit margins. The Demon Deacons also lost 72-63 at North Carolina State on Jan. 18 after giving up a game-ending 11-0 run, following a pattern of late-game fades in December losses to Tennessee and North Carolina.

But after trailing by 10, Wake Forest got a big 3-pointer from Woods just before halftime for a jolt of momentum. Then the Demon Deacons shot 52 percent after halftime to play from in front for much of the final 20 minutes.

The trick was closing it out. They did that, barely.

“I felt like they’ve been wanting to break out of it,” coach Danny Manning said. “We were just able to break through, to be honest with you.”

The Seminoles (16-6, 5-5) trailed by six midway through the second half before twice pushing ahead late, first when Braian Angola knocked down jumper despite being 0 for 7 from the field at the 1:49 mark.

Then, after two free throws from Bryant Crawford (19 points), Phil Cofer scored inside at the 1:06 mark for a 72-71 lead. But FSU couldn’t hang on, with Cofer missing two free throws with 29.5 seconds left after Childress’ go-ahead shots and M.J. Walker missing a tying 3-pointer in the final seconds.

Cofer scored 23 points to lead FSU.

“This is typical ACC,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “On any given night, anybody can beat you in this league, and they did a much better job over the full 40 minutes than we did.”

BIG PICTURE

Florida State: The Seminoles had won three straight league games to put themselves squarely in the middle of the traffic jam far behind No. 2 Virginia in the league standings. But they squandered an opportunity for a road win, going 0 for 7 from behind the arc and scoring just four points off turnovers in the final 20 minutes.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons entered this one in desperate need to stop its descent. It didn’t help that starting senior guard Mitchell Wilbekin was out with an ankle injury, too. And yet, the Demon Deacons were finally able to have what Crawford described as “a sigh of relief that we finally got out of that slump.”

UP NEXT

Florida State: The Seminoles visit Louisville on Saturday.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons host No. 20 Clemson on Saturday.

___

More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

___

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

Comments

Elections

Local Democrats call to ‘turn the state blue’ during virtual office reopening

Education

Catawba gets high marks in U.S. News and World rankings for fifth year

Business

China Grove soap store sets sights on expansion into Kannapolis

News

Charlotte, UNC game canceled after 49ers place players in quarantine

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 18

Coronavirus

County sees ninth COVID-19 death this week, more than 30 cases reported

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper announces schools can move K-5 to plan A; school board vote needed locally

Local

Wet weather brings crashes, traffic to standstill on interstate

Crime

Salisbury man victim of Facebook scam, duped out of $2,000

Crime

Two charged after fight outside Salisbury home

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools ships out thousands of old devices for refurbishing

Education

Caught in the infodemic: NC school policies frustrated by scientific challenges

East Spencer

East Spencer to hold community day, provide free food, supplies

Education

Shoutouts

Landis

Landis officials provide plan for COVID-19 funds, discuss town’s financial position

Education

Blattner brought technology into schools before it was cool

Education

State has slight decline in SAT scores

Local

New environmental specialists begin work on backlog soil evaluations

Local

Friends, colleagues say Seay left his mark on Rowan judicial system

Elections

Rep. Howard says ‘still work to be done’ as she seeks 17th term in House

Nation/World

Trump disputes health officials, sees mass vaccinations soon

Nation/World

‘Nothing left in the bucket’: Wildfire resources run thin

Nation/World

At least 1 dead, hundreds rescued after Hurricane Sally

Crime

Blotter: Sheriff’s Office seeking information in shootout