Wake Forest beats UNC-Greensboro 59-51

BILL KISER Associated Press Published:

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Devin Thomas scored 12 points and pulled down 13 rebounds and Wake Forest held off UNC Greensboro's second-half rally for a 59-51 victory Saturday.

Tyler Cavanaugh added 12 points and Codi Miller-McIntyre scored all 11 points in the second half for the Demon Deacons (10-2), who overcame a slow start to lead by as many as 12 points in the first half.

Kyle Cain had 16 points and 14 rebounds and Kayel Locke added 14 points for the Spartans (6-7), who shot just 25.8 percent in the first half (8 of 31) and 31.7 percent (19 of 60) for the game.

Still, UNC Greensboro rallied from a 29-22 halftime deficit to cut Wake Forest's lead to 44-42 on a Locke jumper with 6:46 remaining. But Miller-McIntyre scored six points in an 11-4 run, with two free throws by Travis McKie giving the Demon Deacons a 55-46 lead with 2:15 left.

Wake Forest shot 44.9 percent (22 of 49) from the field, but only made 2 of 14 3-pointers and 13 of 30 free throws. The Demon Deacons also turned the ball over 14 times, and barely out-rebounded the Spartans 41-40.

It was Wake Forest's defense that proved the difference. In addition to holding UNC Greensboro to its worst shooting game of the season, the Demon Deacons also held the Spartans to 1 of 15 on 3-pointers.

However, both teams struggled in the opening minutes of the first half, with Wake Forest turning the ball over on its first two possessions and missing its first four shots. UNC Greensboro wasn't much better, going 0 for 6 from the field in the first four minutes.

Yet the Spartans got hot right after that, with Cain dropping in a jumper and layup, followed by Locke making two free throws and a layup during an 8-2 run that put UNC Greensboro ahead 9-6 with 12:19 remaining.

However, the Demon Deacons responded with their own run, outscoring the Spartans 21-6 over the next 9 1/2 minutes to take control.

Thomas scored seven straight points during the run, including a short jumper with 8:38 left to put Wake Forest ahead, Cavanaugh made back-to-back 3-pointers to push the Demon Deacons' lead into double figures, and McKie followed up a missed free throw to give them a 27-15 lead with 2:27 left, their biggest of the half.