TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Harvey Hale spent the better part of regulation on the bench, doing anything he could to help his Wake Forest teammates. He ended up carrying them in overtime.
Hale scored 21 points after regulation, leading 11th-seeded Wake Forest to a 114-112 victory over No. 6 seed Georgia Tech in double overtime and producing the fourth upset in as many games in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament Thursday.
“That was amazing,” Wake coach Skip Prosser said. “His performance was Herculean and obviously we don’t advance without that kind of performance.”
Hale made five 3-pointers in the two extra periods, and Wake finished 16-of-23 from behind the arc.
He hit consecutive 3-pointers in the second overtime, one to tie the game at 111 and another to give the Demon Deacons (15-15) a 114-111 advantage with 26.5 seconds remaining.
Zach Peacock came up short on a 3-pointer at the other end, but Georgia Tech (20-11) got the rebound and Thaddeus Young went to the free throw line for two shots.
Young made the first, then intentionally missed the second. Jarvaris Crittenton eventually got the loose ball and passed to Anthony Morrow, whose jumper bounced around the rim and out as time expired.
Wake Forest looked like it would win the game in the first overtime.
Hale scored 10 points in the period and made two free throws with 12.9 seconds remaining to give Wake a 99-96 lead. But Morrow drained a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds to play to send the game into a second overtime.
The Demon Deacons also could have won the game in regulation. They were ahead 79-74 with 1:37 to play, but they missed three free throws down the stretch that would have sealed the victory.
Crittenton made them pay, driving to the hoop and scoring two baskets to tie the game at 82. Crittenton was fouled on the second one and could have put Georgia Tech ahead 83-82, but he missed the free throw.
“Both teams were dead a few times, and both teams made huge shots to get back in it,” Prosser said.
Ishmael Smith, who scored nine consecutive points in the final five minutes to give Wake the five-point lead, drove to the basket on the other end but committed a turnover.
The Demon Deacons advanced to face third-seeded Virginia Tech on Friday. And who would have guessed the second-round matchups? Then again, in the topsy-turvy ACC this season, maybe this should have been expected.
Ninth-seeded Florida State upset eighth-seeded Clemson, then 12th-seeded Miami shocked fifth-seeded and 17th-ranked Maryland, ending the Terrapins’ seven-game winning streak. No. 10 seed North Carolina State continued the run of surprises by beating No. 6 seed and 21st-ranked Duke to open the night session.
But Wake Forest and Georgia Tech put on the best show of the day.
Hale, who replaced Michael Drum after he fouled out in the final minutes of regulation, finished with 22 points on 5-of-6 shooting. He was 7-of-10 from the free throw line.
Drum had 17 points, Kyle Visser added 20 and Smith finished with 13 points and 15 assists.
Young led the Yellow Jackets with a career-high 30 points on 10-of-19 shooting. Morrow added 20 points, and Crittenton had 16 points, six assists and eight turnovers.
“It’s a very disappointing loss,” said Tech coach Paul Hewitt, who blamed the loss mostly on his team’s 12 missed free throws. “We obviously had several opportunities to put it away, as they did. We didn’t get it done. They did. Hale stepped up and made some big shots. The one he made at the end … there was a defensive breakdown, but give Wake Forest credit for executing the play.
“It was a great game, but it’s tough when you come out on this end of it.”