WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Tyler Cavanaugh scored a career-high 20 points and Wake Forest pulled away to upset No. 4 Duke 82-72 on Wednesday night.
Travis McKie added 19 points in his final scheduled home game for the Demon Deacons (16-14, 6-11 Atlantic Coast Conference). Coming off a home loss to sub-.500 Boston College, they shot 46 percent from the field and overcame their largest deficit of the game by scoring 17 straight points and holding Duke without a field goal for 5 critical minutes down the stretch.
Codi Miller-McIntyre had 13 points to help Wake Forest claim its first win over Duke since 2009 and its biggest win since an upset of No. 2 Miami last February.
Jabari Parker scored 19 points and Rodney Hood added 16 for the Blue Devils (23-7, 12-5). Playing their first game in over a week, they missed six straight shots down the stretch and were just 6 of 27 from 3-point range while falling to 4-5 in ACC road games. 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.
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. Williams and Arnaud William Adala Moto finished with 12 points each for Wake Forest, which led for all but about 3 minutes of the first half after holding Duke to one field goal in the first 7½ minutes. They went up by eight points and responded to their only deficit of the half by reeling off the final seven points. Miller-McIntyre's steal and layup just before the buzzer put the Demon Deacons up 36-33 at halftime - just Duke's second halftime deficit of the season and first since the loss at Syracuse.