Wake Forest Knocks Off No. 4 Duke, 82-72
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — For Travis McKie, there was no better way to wrap up a career at home than by knocking off Duke.
Wake Forest pulled away to upset the fourth-ranked Blue Devils 82-72 on Wednesday night, their first victory over Duke since 2009.
McKie’s first game on the Joel Coliseum court was a season-opening loss to Stetson in 2010, and he started every game since.
His last was far more memorable — with tie-dye-clad students storming the court in celebration.
“I couldn’t picture a better ending,” McKie said. “Everything was just perfect tonight. The fans were perfect. Me, being my last (home) game, everything we did was great.”
Tyler Cavanaugh scored a career-high 20 points, McKie added 19 and Codi Miller-McIntyre had 13 for the Demon Deacons (16-14, 6-11 Atlantic Coast Conference).
They followed one of their worst performances of the season — a home loss to sub-.500 Boston College — with their biggest upset since they knocked off No. 2 Miami last February.
“Everybody plays their best game” against Duke, McKie said. “But you’ve got to bring it every night, no matter who you play. BC, I think we kind of took that for granted.”
Jabari Parker scored 19 points and Rodney Hood added 16 for the Blue Devils (23-7, 12-5), who missed six straight shots down the stretch and finished just 6 of 27 from 3-point range while falling to 4-5 in ACC road games.
Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski experienced enough dizziness and light-headedness to force him to kneel during a late timeout and skip his postgame news conference.
Associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski — who filled in for him — says Krzyzewski has not been sick, is in good shape and expects to make a full recovery.
“There was a great emotional investment in the game,” Wojciechowski said, “and I think maybe the emotion got the better of him.”
But Wojciechowski said he didn’t know “if our guys had the needed edge to compete against a Wake Forest team that played their hearts out.”
Duke was playing for the first time in over a week — after going 4-1 in an 11-day span before that.
After taking a late seven-point lead, Duke went without a field goal for 5 critical minutes while allowing the Demon Deacons to reel off 17 straight points and go up by double figures.
“I knew we were going to win — it was just one of those feelings that you get down the stretch,” Miller-McIntyre said. “You could see it in all of my teammates’ eyes, that they weren’t ready to fall over.”
Parker’s dunk with just under 6 minutes left gave the Blue Devils their largest lead, 66-59, and by then, they appeared on their way to their ninth straight win in the series.
Instead, that’s when Wake Forest took command.
After Devin Thomas and McKie hit two free throws each, Cavanaugh — a sophomore backup forward — became unstoppable.
His left-handed jumper over Hood, who had four fouls, with 3½ minutes left gave the Demon Deacons the lead for good at 67-66.
After Miller-McIntyre hit a pretty crossover layup, Cavanaugh followed by sticking back Thomas’ miss to make it 71-66 with 2½ minutes left.
Coron Williams ended the run with a layup that was goaltended by Parker and made it 76-66 with 1:08 left.
At the other end, Duke couldn’t do anything right.
A key 3-point attempt by Rasheed Sulaimon went halfway down before rimming out — one of five 3-point attempts the Blue Devils missed during that untimely cold spell. And point guard Quinn Cook had a layup slammed hard off the backboard by Thomas.
“All five guys were on the same page today,” Thomas said. “We didn’t let them get the 3s, because we know they live and die with the 3-ball.”
Sulaimon finished with 14 points for Duke, which had plenty of built-in excuses for perhaps taking the Demon Deacons lightly.
Maybe they were rusty after not playing since a Feb. 25 rout of Virginia Tech. Maybe they were looking ahead to exacting revenge from North Carolina on Saturday night. Maybe they were overconfident after beating Wake Forest by 20 points last month at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Or maybe the Demon Deacons simply aren’t as bad as their record might indicate.
“Heart. We played with heart,” Cavanaugh said. “We know we can play with anyone.”
Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap
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