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College basketball

ACC: Deacons pummel youthful Princeton

By Associated Press
Published December 18, 2005

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Right now is not a good time to be a member of the Princeton Tigers. Despite doubling their point total from the previous game, they still got beat by 19.

"It's called having a young team," coach Joe Scott said. "We play well at times, we don't play well at times."

He saw a little bit of both Saturday.

Eric Williams had 15 points and Justin Gray added 14, helping No. 16 Wake Forest bounce back from a rare home loss to beat Princeton 61-42.

Trent Strickland scored 13 and finished one rebound short of his third double-double in four games for the Demon Deacons (8-2), who were beaten by DePaul on Wednesday night to end their 21-game winning streak at Lawrence Joel Coliseum. It was tied for the fifth-longest in the nation.

"As players, we were more upset than anything," Strickland said. "We all had a sitdown and we all came to the conclusion that we want to make this year special for us, and we can't have any games like that."

The Tigers (2-6) appeared to be the perfect opponent to start a new run. They were coming off a 41-21 loss to Monmouth, the lowest-scoring Division I game since the introduction of the 3-point line. Princeton was 9-of-41 from the field in that one - 2-of-20 from beyond the arc - and had 19 turnovers for its worst offensive effort since also finishing with 21 points against Penn in 1936.

A basket from Geoff Kestler cut Wake Forest's lead to 40-34 with about 14 minutes remaining.

Williams responded with a dunk on the other end, starting a 21-3 run that must have looked very familiar to the Tigers. They went 61/2 minutes without a point before Kyle Koncz swished a 3-pointer, then were scoreless for another 51/2 minutes.

"I think the style they play, they take possessions away from the game," Gray said. "If you're not making shots, you're not going to have that many points."

The Deacons finished their spurt brilliantly, with Strickland soaring to catch a pass from Gray for a slam dunk. Gray then made consecutive 3s for a 61-37 lead to force a timeout from Scott.

Wake Forest's 39-15 advantage in rebounding was record-setting: the Tigers' total was the fewest for an opponent since the Deacons joined the ACC in 1953-54.

NO. 10 GONZAGA 80, VIRGINIA 69: J.R. Reynolds made two field goals for a 63-59 Virginia lead with 9 minutes to play, but the visiting Cavaliers went 6 minutes without a field goal while the Zags went on a 12-1 run to seize control.

NO. 19 UNC 76, SANTA CLARA 58: Reyshawn Terry scored eight of his 13 points during a key second-half run for the host Tar Heels, who pulled away midway through the half in their first game after a 10-day exam break to avenge an 11-point season-opening loss to the Broncos in 2004.

[Last modified December 18, 2005, 01:02:23]


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