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Updated: Thursday, February 3, 2005 1:36 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(7) Wake Forest 92, (6) Duke 89

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Chris Paul shook off his two-game slump and sent Duke home winless again.

Paul had 17 of his 23 points in the second half and added six assists and five steals as seventh-ranked Wake Forest beat No. 6 Duke, 92-89, in an Atlantic Coast Conference contest.

Paul scored just 16 points on 4-of-15 shooting in his last two games but spearheaded an attack that sent the Blue Devils to their third straight loss at Lawrence Joel Coliseum. He did the same last year against the Blue Devils with 23 points and eight assists in a 90-84 win here.

"I thought he (Paul) played fearlessly tonight," said Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser, who earned his 250th career win. "I thought he did a good job playing under control."

The Demon Deacons (18-3, 6-2 ACC), who led comfortably throughout the second half, survived a late Blue Devils' rally in the last 2 1/2 minutes that featured three 3-pointers and a layup by J.R. Redick.

Paul, who shot 9-of-14 from the field, scored eight points during a 10-0 burst that gave the Demon Deacons a 60-49 advantage with 16 minutes left. Duke never got closer than six points until the game-ending run.

After Wake Forest's Taron Downey hit two free throws with 2.2 seconds left, Redick's 40-footer from the right sideline bounced off the rim.

"I thought that last shot (by Redick) might go in," Prosser said. "He's a phenomenal shooter. He does a great job of getting in position to shoot. I thought up until the end that we did a good job guarding him. But when he's shooting from the 919 area code and we're in the 336 area code, that's saying something."

"I just wanted to end the game with those two free throws and go home happy," Downey said. "I'm glad they went in. I just tried to block out everything because I'm sure there was someone that was going to try to remind me of Florida State."

Against the Seminoles on January 18, Downey missed a free throw with four seconds and the game tied, 76-76. Florida State went on to win, 91-83, in overtime. Downey's miss also snapped an NCAA-record 50 straight free throws by Wake.

Redick, who finished 10-of-22 from the floor, scored 22 of his 33 points in the second half and Shelden Williams added 16 and 12 rebounds for Duke (16-2, 6-2), which lost for the second time in three games.

"It was an intense battle," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "So many players made big plays. We put ourselves in a chance to win. They're a really good basketball team and I thought our guys did a really good job against a good team."

Lee Melchionni scored 13 points off the bench but Daniel Ewing fouled out with just five points in 20 minutes for Duke, which shot 13-of-24 from the arc. Ewing got into a scrum for a loose ball with Paul with 5:35 left in the first half in which both players were accessed technical fouls. Ewing had to leave the game with his third foul. He fouled out with 7:22 to play.

"We needed Daniel to play more and better," Krzyzewski said. "I didn't think he played as well as he could play. Those are learning experiences. He's an outstanding player, and he'll learn from this."

Eric Williams had 19 points and 13 rebounds and Justin Gray added 16 for the Demon Deacons, who are 11-0 at home this season.

"Chris Paul's dribble penetration really opened up a lot because everyone's going to help on Chris because he can make anything happen," Eric Williams said. "He's going to get doubled as soon as he gets down there and dishing to me shows that combination of a guard and post player that we have."

The duo combined for 24 points as Wake shot 55 percent (18-of-33) and took a 45-39 edge at the half.


© 2005 STATS, Inc
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