WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- After honoring the player who led Wake Forest to last season's Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season crown, the Demon Deacons played like last season's team.
Freshman Chris Paul scored a season-high 25 points as the 17th-ranked Demon Deacons ended a four-game skid by rallying for a 93-85 victory over Maryland.
Wake Forest (12-4, 3-3 ACC) honored 2002-03 ACC Player of the Year Josh Howard at halftime, retiring the jersey of the Dallas Mavericks' rookie. The ceremony came after the Demon Deacons turned in an uninspiring 20 minutes and trailed, 53-43.
Led by the heady play of Paul, Wake Forest came alive and finally took the lead for good with a 6-0 run that made it 73-67 with 5:52 left. Freshman Kyle Visser dunked to snap the game's final tie, Paul made two foul shots and Jamaal Levy flipped in a runner.
"We came off a four-game losing streak," Paul said. "The coaches said we weren't desperate, but we really needed it."
Maryland (11-6, 2-4) narrowed a 10-point deficit to 88-85 on freshman Michael Jones' 3-pointer with 47 seconds left. Wake Forest drained 5-of-6 at the line for the final margin.
Paul turned in the best effort of his young career, making 6-of-8 shots and 10-of-11 free throws. The point guard averaged just under 10 points per game during the losing streak.
"He obviously was a big factor in the win," Demon Deacons coach Skip Prosser said. "His play belies his age. He played all 20 minutes in the second half, and we usually don't do that. But I thought it gave us the best opportunity to win."
Justin Gray scored 20 points and Taron Downey led a strong bench effort with 12 and six assists. The Demon Deacons' reserves combined for 32 points.
Nik Caner-Medley scored 15 points for Maryland, which had its way in shooting 51.5 percent (17-of-33) in the first half. But the Terrapins, who started three sophomores and a freshman, had just nine baskets after the break.
"We are a young team and we are learning," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "The young players just don't understand the intensity of road games, but you need to stay tough at home."
Wake also got a boost from the play of Visser, its backup center. With starter Eric Williams continuing his sluggish play over the last five games, Visser collected 11 points and six rebounds.
"Kyle's going to be a good player," Prosser said. "He made a big, big plays tonight. He just turned 18 and I'm glad he's playing for us."
Maryland was hurt by a rough performance by sophomore guard John Gilchrist, who struggled defending Paul. Gilchrist made 3-of-11 shots and had 12 points, nine assists and six turnovers.