WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Wake Forest was lying in wait for Florida State.
Justin Gray scored 20 points as the sixth-ranked Demon Deacons avenged one of their three losses with an 87-48 drubbing of Florida State in an Atlantic Coast Conference contest.
Florida State knocked off Wake Forest, 91-83, in overtime in Tallahassee on January 18, but the Demon Deacons (21-3, 9-2 ACC) were ready for the rematch.
"We think now that the season is coming to an end, we have to step up and play," Gray said. "We wanted to show them that we were ready to play. The defensive effort today was real good."
Eric Williams recorded a double-double with 15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds for Wake Forest, which posted the most lopsided win in the ACC this season and moved into sole possession of first place. The Demon Deacons are one-half game ahead of Duke and North Carolina.
Despite playing their third game in six days, the Demon Deacons came out with plenty of energy and put away the contest early, shooting 53 percent in the first half en route to a 48-28 cushion at the intermission. They turned the game into a rout with a 16-0 run late in the first half.
"I told the kids it's almost like we're on an NBA schedule," Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said. "Three games in six days. I know why that is. Being on television is why. Being on television is a good thing.
"Is it (playing so often) less than ideal. Absolutely, but that is reality. We're not going to cry about it. We're going to go out and play."
Reserves Taron Downey scored 14 points and Trent Strickland added 10 for the Demon Deacons. Point guard Chris Paul only scored eight points for Wake Forest, but handed out seven assists and set a career high with seven steals.
"It all starts with Chris at the point and it ends with somebody getting the defensive rebound," Gray added. "Everyone did their part today."
Von Wafer scored 16 points for Florida State (11-13, 3-8), which has dropped four straight and five of six since its win over Wake Forest.
The Demon Deacons were consistent throughout, shooting 53.1 percent (17-of-32) in the first half and 52.9 percent (18-of-34) in the second.
Florida State was held to under 34 percent (19-of-56) and was hammered on the boards, 49-27.
"We just wanted to come out and show everyone in the nation that we can play defense," Downey said. "We're starting to see what it can do for us. It will take us far into March, if we keep playing defense like I know we can."
Wake Forest took the lead for good, 19-17, on Strickland's layup with 10:40 left in the first half. After Andrew Wilson's 3-pointer pulled the Seminoles within 23-20, the Demon Deacons reeled off 16 straight points, opening a 39-20 lead on Downey's layup with 5:21 left in the half.