Gray’s career high lifts Deacons past Badgers
Winston-Salem, NC (Sports Network) – Justin Gray poured in a career-high 37
points to lead 22nd-ranked Wake Forest past Wisconsin, 91-88, in an ACC/Big
Ten Challenge game from Lawrence Joel Coliseum.
Eric Williams added 17 points and Kyle Visser chipped in 13 and seven rebounds
for the Demon Deacons (6-1), who have won four straight games since a loss to
Florida in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
In addition, Wake Forest ran its homecourt winning streak to 21 games and has
not lost at Lawrence Joel Coliseum since March 2004. The Demon Deacons also
improved to 51-1 in their last 52 home games versus non-conference opponents.
“I thought Wisconsin played really, really well,” said Wake Forest head coach
Skip Prosser. “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. I’m also proud of our kids.
Hard fought, well-earned ‘W’. I thought the crowd was a huge factor,
especially the students. They continue to amaze me. It was a good win for our
Alando Tucker scored a team-high 27 points for the Badgers (4-1), who were
looking to begin a season with five straight wins for the first time since
1996-97 when the team started 6-0. Brian Butch had 19 points and 10 boards
while Kammron Taylor posted 18 points in the setback.
Wake Forest led by five at halftime and quickly extended the cushion to 45-36
on Gray’s layup with 17:41 remaining in the game. The margin did grow to 10
moments later, but Wisconsin came back and closed within 54-50 on Marcus
Landry’s jumper with just over 12 minutes to go.
The Badgers continued to creep closer as Joe Krabbenhoft’s layup with 10:02
left made it 58-57 and Wisconsin finally took its first lead, at 62-60,
courtesy of a pair of free throws by Jason Chappell with 9:21 to play.
The Demon Deacons, though, reeled off eight of the next 10 points, capped by
Visser’s reverse layup, to pull ahead 68-64. Visser scored six points during
the quick flurry, which gave Wake the lead for good.
Trent Strickland’s tip-in with 4:33 remaining widened the Demon Deacons lead
to 77-70, but Wisconsin again had an answer. Tucker’s free throw moments later
capped a 6-0 run and brought the Badgers within 81-78 with just under two
minutes to go.
Tucker then missed a three-pointer that would have tied it and Harvey Hale
extended the lead to 83-78 with a jumper from the left side with 50.2 seconds
Wisconsin made it 87-85 on Tucker’s long-range three with 10.3 seconds left,
but Gray answered with two free throws. However, Taylor drained a long shot
from behind the arc to make it a one-point game in the closing seconds.
After Gray made it 91-88 by sinking two foul shots, Taylor’s desperation three
at the buzzer hit off the back rim.
Gray ended 13-of-13 from the charity stripe.
He (Gray) has been maligned a bit,” said Prosser. “We said early, it’s a big
time game for big time players. He’s a big time player. He certainly made
shots when he had to make shots, especially his free throws.”
Wake Forest built an early 10-3 lead, but the Badgers pulled within one point
on Taylor’s three-pointer with 13:52 left in the first half. The lead grew to
seven again later in the stanza, but Wisconsin quickly got right back within
one point and stayed close throughout the half.
The Demon Deacons eventually led 37-32 at the break.
Gray netted 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting for Wake Forest, while Butch had 12
points and grabbed six rebounds for the Badgers in the opening 20 minutes.
Gray hit 11-of-20 from the floor…The Demon Deacons were only 3-of-13 from
three-point range, but made 26-of-29 from the foul line. Wisconsin made 9-
of-21 from behind the arc and connected on 17-of-24 free throws…Prosser
notched his 100th win with the school…The Demon Deacons are 6-1 in the
ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which includes a 4-0 mark at home, while Wisconsin
fell to 2-5 in the annual competition…Wake Forest, which has won eight of
its last nine games against Big Ten teams, has won all three career meetings
with the Badgers…Tucker now has 1,013 career points with the Badgers.