Teague lifts No. 10 Wake past Richmond, 86-79
RICHMOND, Va. (AP)—Wake Forest got everything it needed from its first real road game: a stiff challenge, the need to be clutch in the final minutes and, most importantly, a victory.
Jeff Teague scored 21 points and Chas McFarland had 20 points and 14 rebounds Friday night, helping the No. 10 Demon Deacons overcame a lackluster performance in a 86-79 win over Richmond.
Teague scored eight of his points in a 17-6 run that gave Wake Forest a 69-55 lead with 5:55 remaining, and said some time spent on the bench was key to his sudden emergence.
“Coach (Dino) Gaudio pulled me to the side he was like, ‘You have to get the ball. We’ve got to have the ball in your hands,’ so I just tried to take over for the team and hopefully hit some free throws down the stretch,” said Teague, who was 6-for-6 from the line.
The Demon Deacons (10-0) also benefited from a road crowd that tilted decidedly in their favor thanks to a confluence of scheduling oddities and their fans’ devotion to the team.
At least half the announced crowd of 6,635 at the Robins Center was pro-Demon Deacons as fans on their way to see the football team play Navy in Saturday’s EagleBank Bowl in Washington, D.C., made a stopover 90 minutes to the south to see the basketball team.
Many Richmond fans, meanwhile, had either followed their football team to Chattanooga, Tenn., or stayed at home to watch on television as the Spiders played Montana for the Football Championship Subdivision national championship on Friday night.
“We had a great crowd here tonight,” Gaudio said of the gold and black throng that chanted for the visitors. “They had a lot to do with us walking out of here with a win.”
Richmond (5-5) closed within four twice in the final two minutes, the last at 78-74 with 1:35 left, but Teague scored on a drive and Al-Farouq Aminu followed with a dunk after a turnover to give the Demon Deacons an 82-74 lead and send fans streaming for the exits.
Still, coach Chris Mooney said his team came away with a lot of positives, and guard Kevin Anderson said one negative really stood out: The Demon Deacons shot 50.9 percent.
“Until we stop teams consistently, we’re going to have trouble winning,” he said.
Sloppy play by the Demon Deacons allowed the Spiders to stay close until deep into the second half, when the Teague-led big burst appeared to set Wake up to cruise to the finish.
Richmond’s scrappy defense forced 21 turnovers, though, turning them into 25 points and keeping it close until the closing minutes when Wake’s talent prevailed.
It was the best scenario on many levels, Gaudio said.
“As I’m going through it, I wish it wasn’t, but I think it’s nice to have to scratch and claw and fight for every single thing, to have to make free throws down the stretch,” he said.
“I think it bodes well for us down the road.”
Aminu and L.D. Williams each added 14 points for Wake Forest, which finished with a 43-26 edge on the backboards and outscored the Spiders 27-12 from the free-throw line.
Anderson led Richmond with 21 points, David Gonzalvez had 18 and Jarhon Giddings 12.
The Demon Deacons dominated the backboards in the first half, outrebounding Richmond 24-14, but Wake Forest led just 37-35 at the break after the Spiders scored the last six points.
Wake Forest had 11 turnovers in the half, and the Spiders had just three.