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Wake Forest erases late 5-point deficit to edge Ga. Tech

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Tyree Appleby scored six points in the final two minutes Saturday as Wake Forest overcame a late five-point deficit to escape with a 71-70 win over visiting Georgia Tech in ACC action at Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Demon Deacons (17-9, 9-6 ACC) won their third straight game following a four-game slide, thanks in large part to Appleby, who scored 13 of his 16 points after intermission. Cameron Hildreth had 19 points to pace Wake Forest while Bobi Klintman chipped in 11.

Deivon Smith scored 15 points, and Ja’von Franklin added 14 points and 15 boards for the Yellow Jackets (9-16, 2-13), who have lost 10 of their last 11 games.

Georgia Tech’s Dallan Coleman erased the game’s final deadlock with a 3-pointer with three minutes to go, and Smith added a bucket on the next possession to make it 68-63 with 2:07 remaining.

However, Wake Forest did not go quietly. Appleby’s jumper and Andrew Carr’s two free throws made it a one-point game before a Yellow Jackets turnover gave the ball back to the hosts.

Appleby took advantage, driving to the hoop for a twirling go-ahead layup with 13 seconds left.

Smith’s layup put the visitors back in front with six seconds to go, but he then fouled Appleby with two seconds left. The dynamic guard made both free throws and the ensuing inbounds heave went errant, ending the game.

Wake Forest scored 16 of the game’s first 21 points — eight by Hildreth — before Georgia Tech rallied to draw even at 21-21. The Yellow Jackets led by as many as six late in the first half before the Demon Deacons got within 38-34 at the break.

Midway through the second half, Coleman drained a 3-pointer to give the Yellow Jackets a five-point lead, but Klintman responded with a 3-pointer of his own to get the Demon Deacons back within two.

Shortly thereafter, Wake Forest forged a tie at 53-53, and the score was also tied 55, 56, 58, 60 and 63 down the stretch, setting up the exciting finish.

–Field Level Media

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