For the second straight night, Wake Forest seemed unable to protect its big lead or put the game away. And just as before, the 18th-ranked...

Share story

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — For the second straight night, Wake Forest seemed unable to protect its big lead or put the game away.


And just as before, the 18th-ranked Demon Deacons did enough to stay unbeaten.


Eric Williams scored 19 points and Trent Strickland had 18 points and 11 rebounds, helping Wake Forest hold off George Mason 83-78 in overtime Friday night in the second round of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic.


Justin Gray added 17 points for the Demon Deacons (2-0), who blew a 19-point lead in the second half before finally earning their 18th straight home win.


Wake Forest advanced to face Florida in next week’s semifinals in New York.


In Thursday’s 78-64 win over Mississippi Valley State, the Demon Deacons led by 14 in the first half before the Delta Devils rallied to tie the score midway through the second.


“We’ve got four guys trying to move into whole new roles and that can be frustrating at times,” Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said. “We as coaches had the choice to play in this tournament, to play good teams and test our abilities early on. I think we’re learning early what we need to work on later in the season.”


Prosser won’t have to look far. Wake Forest appeared in control before George Mason (1-1) turned to full-court pressure, fueling a 16-6 run over the last six minutes to erase a 65-55 deficit and force overtime.


The Demon Deacons committed 15 of 20 turnovers after halftime, with Gray — a solid shooting guard charged with replacing All-American Chris Paul at point guard — committing 10. It was the most turnovers by a Wake Forest player in more than six years.


Wake Forest had one field goal in overtime, but went 10 of 13 from the free-throw line, including 6 for 6 in the final 22.2 seconds.


Women’s games


At Oregon 80, St. Francis 30


Gabrielle Richards scored 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting as the Ducks crushed the visitors from Pennsylvania in a Women’s Sports Foundation Classic game.


Oregon plays No. 21 Temple for the tournament title tonight. Temple beat Michigan 65-48.