WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Skip Prosser was concerned after his
team allowed more than 100 points in consecutive games.
The first-year coach of Wake Forest (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) can rest easy after a
92-70 victory over Virginia (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP)on Sunday night.
Darius Songaila scored a career-high 30 points on near-perfect
shooting, and Craig Dawson added 17 in the 22-point blowout.
"My trepidation factor was incredibly high," Prosser said. "I
don't know these guys as well as I would if I recruited them and
how they would respond. This game doesn't built character, it
reveals character and I think our kids showed tremendous
The Demon Deacons (18-8, 8-4) remained in third place in the
Atlantic Coast Conference, snapping a four-game skid against ranked
Wake Forest had given up consecutive 100-point games for the
first time since 1982-83, but held Virginia to 34 percent shooting
while hitting 58 percent.
"We couldn't defend," Virginia coach Pete Gillen said. "They
just carved us up."
Songaila sank his first 10 shots and finished 11-for-13 from the
field, 8-for-8 from the foul line with 11 rebounds. His previous
high point total was 29 against Florida State earlier this season.
"I kind of lost count," Songaila said when asked if he knew
how many hoops he made in a row. "I get too involved in a game
emotionally. I hope 30-and-11 is one of my better games. Whatever I
have to do to win the game."
"I feel privileged to coach Darius Songaila," Prosser added.
"He's smart, he's tough, he's selfless."
Dawson tied an ACC record with 11 3-pointers in a 118-115 loss
to Clemson on Wednesday night, and remained hot beyond the arc,
"We got off the deck and played perhaps our best game of the
year, especially when you consider the quality of the opposition,"
Prosser said. "To me, the telling stat is 26 assists on 33
baskets. We shared the ball exceedingly well."
The Cavaliers (16-7, 6-6), picked in the preseason to finish
third in the ACC, fell to .500 in the league and remained in fifth
place with games left against Duke and Maryland -- the top two
Roger Mason Jr. led the way with a career-high 31 points, but
got little help from his teammates. Mason's previous best was 30
against Gonzaga last season.
Wake Forest didn't start its normal lineup, but it mattered
Josh Howard sat out with a bad left ankle, and Vytas Danelius
started in place of Antwan Scott, who was late for practice. The
freshman made the most of his first start, scoring 13 points and
grabbing eight rebounds.
Virginia trailed by as many as 22 in the first half and closed
within 13 twice early in the second period.
But the Demon Deacons went on a 14-4 run over the next four
minutes to take a 71-48 lead with 12:10 left. Dawson had a
fastbreak layup early in the spurt, then closed it with a
"Coach knew in the back of his mind we were a good basketball
team, but we proved to him we're a tough basketball team," Wake
Forest senior Ervin Murray said. "We just weren't going to lay
down and let things happen to us."
The Cavaliers missed 15 of their first 20 shots and never
Dawson and Songaila did most of the offensive damage for Wake
Forest in the opening half as Songaila had 18 points, and Dawson
made four 3-pointers.
Virginia fell behind by 21 with 3:47 left in the first half
before Mason made a 3-pointer and four free throws in a span of 54
seconds to close to 45-31.
But Broderick Hicks and Dawson each hit 3-pointers over the next
2:20 as the Demon Deacons took an 18-point lead into the locker
room, making 7 of 10 beyond the arc.
While Dawson and Songaila combined for 30 of Wake Forest's
points at the break, Virginia's frontcourt was a combined 2-for-14
from the field for eight points in one of the team's more
forgettable periods of the season.
"You can't dig a hole like that on the road against a very good
team, and they're a very good team," Gillen said.
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Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, considered a lock to leave the program before struggling in the second half last season, has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return for his junior season.
Louisville's Chinanu Onuaku, who recently underwent a medical procedure to correct a heart rhythm issue detected during the combine, will keep his name in the NBA draft pool.
Andrew White III will return to the Nebraska men's basketball team next season after removing his name from the NBA draft.