Paul showed Singletary up close Sunday, scoring seven of his 21
points in a 14-5 second-half run as the Demon Deacons (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today; No. 5 AP) beat No. 25 Virginia 89-70.
"I've been there," Paul said, "and I've been thinking about
that all the way up to this game -- how I felt last year playing
against the Raymond Feltons, the Chris Duhons and different things
"Believe it or not, when you get into conference play, it's a
whole 'nother season and you've just got to be prepared and be
The Deacons were more than ready after halftime, getting six
points from Justin Gray in a 13-0 run early in the second half and
seven from Paul in the clinching burst after Virginia closed within
Singletary, one of the nation's most highly regarded point
guards coming out of high school and the ACC's rookie of the week
three times already this season, made his only field goal early in
the second half and finished with two points, six assists and three
turnovers in 24 minutes.
"This was a huge game for us," Paul said of the Deacons'
seventh straight victory, which ended a string of eight in a row
won by the home team in the series. "Nobody on our team had won a
game here. Like coach told us, it's a new season, so it's 1-0 in
the ACC right now."
The Demon Deacons (12-1, 1-0) led 44-39 before Jamaal Levy's
putback sparked the first run in the second half. Gray had a
three-point play and a 3-pointer in the burst and Eric Williams
finished it with a free throw, giving Wake Forest a 57-39 lead with
The Cavaliers (8-2, 0-1) immediately scored nine straight points
and closed to 61-54 with 11:37 left, but Paul scored half the
Deacons' points in the 14-5 run that rebuilt their lead to 75-59
with 7:57 left.
What Singletary saw, Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said, was
their best game, and a textbook show of leadership by the sophomore
"He's cognizant of the fact that, being the quarterback, that
he has to play well for us to play well, especially away from
home," Prosser said. "I wouldn't trade him for any point guard in
Paul, who had nine assists, hit the floor hard after a foul with
1:42 left, the final salvo in a bruising game that had a sellout
crowd jeering what it perceived as uneven officiating throughout.
Several near skirmishes also developed on the court, but without
any punches thrown.
The intensity made playing well sweeter for Paul.
"Guys are going to try and push your buttons. Guys want to try
to test you and see where your heart is," he said. "You just have
to play through it. When guys are being aggressive on you
defensively, you've got to be just as aggressive offensively."
The loss, which came in just the Cavaliers' second game since
Dec. 8, was the 10th straight for Virginia in its conference
"We just pretty much stopped playing," forward Jason Clark
said. "We didn't defend. We didn't rebound. We didn't execute on
offense. When you do that against a great team like Wake, that's
what happens -- they take advantage of it and the next thing you
know, you're down by 20."
Gray had 17 points for the Deacons, all but three despite a
queasy stomach in the second half, and Williams had 15 points and
The Demon Deacons shot 50.9 percent to Virginia's 42.4 percent
and outrebounded the Cavaliers 45-28, including 28-12 after
Wake Forest shot almost 58 percent in the first half and used a
10-2 run midway through the half to take a lead it never
The Demon Deacons had a five-point trip downcourt late in the
half when Virginia coach Pete Gillen drew a technical for arguing
an offensive foul call. Paul made both free throws and Taron Downey
hit a 3-pointer, the Deacons' sixth of the half, to give them a
Forbes' 3 for the Cavaliers made it 42-37 at halftime.