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COLLEGE HOOPS Wake Forest defenders rescue ACC leaders; Kentucky upset



Published: Wed, February 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Connecticut needed two overtimes to defeat Providence.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Wake Forest's potent offense misfired Tuesday night, so the Demon Deacons relied on defense for a change.

By holding Miami to 33 percent shooting in the second half, No. 5 Wake Forest won 68-63 to retain its lead in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"We're used to running, scoring in the 80s and the 90s," guard Chris Paul said. "Tonight we did just enough to win. I think it really shows how far along our team is."

The Demon Deacons enjoyed their biggest lead at 61-53 with 4 1/2 minutes left. Miami rallied and had one shot to tie, but Anthony Harris' 22-footer fell short with 5 seconds to go.

Wake Forest (22-3, 10-2) earned its sixth straight win, a streak that includes two victories over Miami (15-8, 6-6).

The Demon Deacons reached 10 conference victories for only the second time in the past eight seasons. The latest win came even though Wake Forest had its lowest point total since December, 18 points shy of its average of 86 per game.

"Usually we can score," coach Skip Prosser said. "Tonight when we didn't, our defense carried the day. It's nice to talk about a game we won because of how we guarded."

South Carolina 73,No. 3 Kentucky 61

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Tarence Kinsey scored 17 points and Carlos Powell had 12 in the second half to lead South Carolina to a rare victory over Kentucky.

It was the first home win for the Gamecocks (14-8, 6-5 Southeastern Conference) over the Wildcats (19-3, 10-1) since 1997, and it was just South Carolina's sixth victory in 41 meetings against Kentucky, which never looked in synch.

No. 18 Connecticut 94,Providence 89, 2OT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Charlie Villanueva had 18 points and nine rebounds after halftime to help Connecticut turn back feisty Providence in double overtime.

Villanueva, a sophomore forward, finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds. He had four points and a key rebound while the Huskies (16-6, 8-3 Big East) scored seven consecutive points to start the second overtime. Rudy Gay had a 3-pointer in the run while Providence (11-14, 1-10) missed two 3-pointers to guarantee itself another close loss.

Providence's Herb Hill scored in heavy traffic in the

No. 25 Villanova 89, Bucknell 51

VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Allan Ray scored 23 points to lead Villanova.

Mike Nardi, who hit four 3-pointers, and Curtis Sumpter each had 14 points and Jason Fraser grabbed eight rebounds to help the Wildcats (15-6) bounce back from their worst loss of the year against No. 9 Syracuse.

Villanova made 21 of its first 33 shots overall, including nine of its first 18 3-point attempts, and turned this one into a blowout early.




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