ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—L.D. Williams and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons pushed aside upset-minded Baylor with a complete 40-minute effort.
Williams had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Jeff Teague added 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to help No. 19 Wake Forest beat Baylor 87-74 on Sunday night in the 76 Classic championship game.
“You’ve got to psych yourself up for a team like this,” Williams said. “The coaches harped on how hard they play on offense and how relentless they were on the backboard. But we stepped up to the challenge and got a big win.”
James Johnson had 14 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks, and Al-Farouq Aminu finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Demon Deacons (6-0). Wake Forest had a season-high 62 rebounds, 24 more than Baylor.
“I thought we played incredibly hard, with a lot of energy and a lot of emotion,” Demon Deacons coach Dino Gaudio said. “It manifested itself on the defensive end and it showed itself on the backboard.”
Baylor beat No. 14 Arizona State 87-78 on Friday night, but Bears coach Scott Drew said Wake Forest offered a different style.
“They’re 180 degrees different,” Drew said. “Wake Forest plays a much more up-and-down game and they really on the paint; they only shot six (3-point shots). Usually, championship games are won in the paint.”
Henry Dugat scored 19 points for the Bears (6-1), and Curtis Jerrells added 16. Baylor shot a season-low 32.4 percent.
Baylor led 36-31 early in the second half, but Wake Forest used a 16-1 run to move ahead 49-37 with 13:20 to play. Williams scored five points and Aminu had four points in the surge.
The Bears cut it to 67-63 with 3:38 left, but Aminu and Ishmael Smith made layups, and Teague added two free throws to give Wake Forest a 73-63 edge with 2:18 remaining.