WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Justin Gray felt the frustration
The sophomore had missed his first three 3-pointers of the
second half and picked up his fourth foul with 12:40 left. Wake
Forest kept turning the ball over and Florida State seemed as
though it couldn't miss.
At one point, coach Skip Prosser said he saw tears in Gray's
eyes on the bench.
"I was so frustrated one time I about punted the ball," Gray
But Gray came through, scoring a career-high 31 points --
including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:22 left in overtime -- and
the 11th-ranked Demon Deacons rallied from a 17-point deficit to
beat Florida State 90-87 on Wednesday night.
Gray went 10-for-21 from the field and drained two 3s in the
overtime for the Demon Deacons (18-6, 8-5 Atlantic Coast
Conference), who won their fifth straight game and avenged last
month's loss to the Seminoles.
The win keeps the Demon Deacons in third place in the ACC, which
has five teams ranked in this week's Top 25.
"While it wasn't pretty, it's an ACC win," Prosser said. "And
those are very, very, very hard to come by."
Tim Pickett scored 16 of his 23 points in the first half for the
Seminoles (18-10, 6-8), who have lost four of six. Florida State
has lost 23 straight road games in conference play, extending a
streak that began in March 2001.
Wake Forest barely avoided being the host that allowed the
Seminoles to end that drought. The Demon Deacons fell behind early
and trailed 60-45 on a 3 from Pickett with 11:50 to play.
They went to a seldom-used fullcourt press to slow the
Seminoles, who shot 8-for-22 in the second half. That helped fuel
15 points off turnovers after halftime.
"Sometimes it's not an adjustment as much as it is a
realization on the part of our kids that we need to get stops,"
The Demon Deacons closed the second half with a 30-15 run,
including nine straight points at the end of regulation. Gray
scored the last three of those points, hitting a spinning layup to
cut the deficit to 75-74 with 1:40 left.
He then hit the tying free throw 21 seconds later to send it to
overtime tied at 75.
Once there, he made the biggest shot of the night. After
knocking down a 3 on Wake Forest's third possession, he took a feed
from Downey and drained a 3 from the left wing for an 86-83 lead.
The Demon Deacons never trailed again, getting a slam from Eric
Williams off a feed from Paul just before the shot clock expired
for an 88-85 lead with 15 seconds left. Nate Johnson's driving
layup cut it to one with 4.7 seconds left, but the Demon Deacons
pushed the lead back to three with two free throws by Paul with 4.3
Von Wafer's desperation 30-footer at the horn hit the front of
the rim, giving the Demon Deacons the comeback win despite 20
The Seminoles seemed to have the game in hand, leading 75-68
with just under 3 minutes left. But they came apart with a series
of late blunders, committing turnovers on their last six
possessions against Wake Forest's pressure.
One was a 5-second call on an inbounds pass after a timeout. On
another, Pickett traveled when Johnson bumped him while trying to
hand the ball off behind the arc with 2:19 to go.
"It hurts in a big way," Pickett said. "It's the most painful
loss I've had this year. We played extremely well, but at the end
we kind of broke down."
Florida State hasn't won an ACC road game since beating Clemson
75-63 on March 3, 2001.
"We lost our composure and made mistakes at the end,"
Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said. "They increased the
defensive pressure and put us in position to make plays, and we
came up short."