Jan. 27, 1998

Virginia Falls to Wake Forest

Game Stats

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Wake Forest overcame a seven-minute scoreless stretch to open the game, went on a 17-0 second-half run and then had to hang on down the stretch to beat Virginia 62-55 Tuesday night in a game of streaks.

Wake Forest (11-7, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) has now won nine of 11 from the Cavaliers and 23 of its last 28 ACC home games with No. 2 North Carolina coming to town Saturday.

Virginia (10-11, 2-6) fell into sole possession of last place in the ACC and hasn't won here since Tim Duncan's freshman season of 1994.

Robert O'Kelley led the Demon Deacons with 20 points, while Tony Rutland sank nine of 10 free throws over the final 2:27 and finished with 18.

Curtis Staples paced the Cavaliers with 24 points on a season-high eight 3-pointers - six in the second half to come within one of his school-record of nine. Norman Nolan added 16 points before fouling out.

Staples, held in check most of the first half, sank three consecutive 3-pointers in a span of 2:19 as Virginia grabbed a 31-24 lead with 16:25 left.

But Wake Forest responded with a zone defense in an attempt to shut down the ACC's all-time 3-point shooter and made 11 of 12 free throws during its spurt to grab a 43-33 lead.

The Cavaliers did not go away, though, using a 13-2 run of their own to go ahead 46-45 with 4:13 left as the Demon Deacons got cold from the foul line, missing six of eight.

A 6-0 spurt then gave the Wake Forest the lead for good as Rafael Vidaurreta made a 12-footer from the baseline, O'Kelley hit a driving banker and Rutland sank a pair of free throws to begin his successful game-ending stretch from the foul line.

Virginia committed 19 second-half fouls.

Wake Forest missed its first eight shots and only one basket was made in the game's first 19 combined possessions.

The Demon Deacons trailed by as many as eight in the first half before closing the period with a 10-3 run to grab a 22-21 edge despite shooting 28 percent in the opening 20 minutes.

Wake Forest and Virginia made seven field goals each in a sloppy first half in a combined 60 possessions.