Demon Deacons Edge Tigers In Overtime, 74-68

Demon Deacons Edge Tigers In Overtime, 74-68

Feb. 22, 2006

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Justin Gray made a contested 3-pointer to send the game to overtime while Eric Williams hit go-ahead free throws to help Wake Forest beat Clemson 74-68, ending its eight-game conference losing streak.

Williams finished with a game-high 19 points for the Demon Deacons (14-13, 2-11 Atlantic Coast Conference). Gray finished with 13 points and hit a pair of free throws to seal it late, while Trent Strickland scored five of his 11 points in the overtime.

Junior walk-on Michael Drum also chipped in with some clutch baskets, nailing a 3-pointer off a feed from Williams and hitting two free throws to make it a four-point game with 21.4 seconds left.

K.C. Rivers scored all 16 of his points after the break for the Tigers (15-11, 4-9), who have lost six of seven.

The Demon Deacons avenged their 74-73 overtime loss to the Tigers in January.

Clemson rallied from a nine-point deficit in the final 9 minutes of regulation to take a 60-57 lead on two free throws from Shawan Robinson with 21.7 seconds left. But Gray — an all-ACC performer with a knack for hitting big shots — connected on a fadeaway 3 to tie it with 4.3 seconds to play.

Clemson had a chance to win it, but Akin Akingbala’s 15-footer from the left side clanged off the rim to force the extra period.

Then, with the game tied at 68 on a 3 from Robinson with 1:16 left, Williams got fouled in the lane and hit the first of two free throws to make it 69-68 with 56.3 seconds left. He missed the second, but Strickland got the rebound to extend the possession.

Strickland then missed a 3, but Williams got the rebound and hit 1 of 2 free throws again to make it 70-68 with 48.2 seconds left.

After Hammonds — who had hit four 3-pointers — missed a 3, Drum hit two free throws to make it 72-68. Williams effectively sealed it when he blocked a shot from Hammonds and got the tie-up, giving the ball to Wake Forest with 16.9 seconds left.

Gray hit two more free throws for the final margin, giving Wake Forest its first ACC win since beating Georgia Tech here on Jan. 18.