Wake Forest builds big lead, then holds off NC State 88-84
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Codi Miller-McIntyre scored 23 points and Wake Forest built a huge lead then held off a comeback to beat North Carolina State 88-84 on Tuesday night.
Devin Thomas added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Demon Deacons (11-12, 3-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), who built a 24-point lead midway through the second half with a dominating offensive performance.
Then they did just enough to hold on as the Wolfpack (14-10, 5-6) frantically rallied to make it a one-possession game in the final seconds.
Anthony ''Cat'' Barber's three-point play brought the Wolfpack to within 87-84 with 11.2 seconds left, but freshman Cornelius Hudson hit a free throw with 9.2 seconds to go then Miller-McIntyre stole Des Lee's pass on the final possession to seal the win.
Barber finished with a career-high 28 points and hit four 3-pointers, and had to carry the load for much of the night.
Leading scorer Trevor Lacey added 19 and Ralston Turner had 12, though much of that production came as N.C. State tried to dig out of a horrific start that had Wake Forest playing with confidence.
Wake Forest shot 57 percent and went 10-for-20 from 3-point range for the game, though the Demon Deacons managed just two field goals in the final 10 minutes.
After N.C. State used a 20-2 run to claw to within 76-71, Miller-McIntyre hit two free throws then ended a six-minute basket drought with a desperately needed shot in the lane with 4:04 left that helped maintain his team's fragile hold on the game.
For the Wolfpack, it was a painfully familiar finish. Last week, N.C. State fell behind by 23 points in the first half against Clemson, then rallied to within three points with nine minutes left before fading late.
It didn't take long for coach Mark Gottfried to grow irritated with his team's play on this night. He had ripped off his suit jacket less than four minutes in, then angrily slammed a clipboard to the court during an animated timeout midway through the opening half.
But Wake Forest went on to shoot 19-for-29 (66 percent) from the field and 9-for-15 from 3-point range to take a 51-30 halftime lead.
N.C. State: N.C. State finished with a 42-35 rebounding advantage and scored 21 second-chance points. ... The Wolfpack made 10 of 30 3-pointers.
Wake Forest: Wake Forest took its biggest lead at 64-40 on two free throws from Codi Miller-McIntyre with 13:33 left. ... Cornelius Hudson finished with 12 points.
N.C. State hosts No. 3 Virginia on Feb. 11.
Wake Forest travels to Georgia Tech on Saturday.
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