Thursday, March 11, 1999
Wake Forest next for Xavier
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Darius Songaila had 18 points and nine rebounds and Wake Forest combined overpowering inside play with timely 3-point shooting for a 73-57 victory over Alabama in the National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday night.
The Demon Deacons (17-13) were able to repeatedly pound the ball inside, helping get Alabama in foul trouble and ruining the Crimson Tide's first postseason appearance since 1996.
Robert O'Kelley added 15 points, Craig Dawson 14 and Rafael Vidaurreta 10 points and 15 rebounds for Wake Forest, which got 14 of its 23 field goals on either layups or dunks. O'Kelley, a sophomore guard, passed the 1,000-point mark for his career, helping the Demon Deacons improve their non-conference record at Lawrence Joel Coliseum to 67-5.
Wake Forest, making its ninth consecutive postseason appearance, held Alabama to 33 percent shooting and limited the Crimson Tide to two field goals in the first eight minutes of the second half.
Dawson made four of eight 3-point attempts, helping Wake Forest advance to a second-round game against Xavier on Monday.
Brian Williams led Alabama (17-15) with 28 points.
The Demon Deacons led 39-32 after a first half in which six of their 11 field goals came on either layups or dunks. Wake Forest closed the half with a 17-7 run powered by eight points from Dawson and five from Songaila.
It was more of the same early in the second half, when the Demon Deacons got three of their first four field goals on layups. Dawson followed with back-to-back 3-pointers and Vidaurreta hit a free throw to make it 50-38, Wake Forest's biggest lead to that stage.
After the Demon Deacons stretched their lead to 20 with 6:32 left, the closest Alabama got the rest of the way was 66-53 on a follow shot by Moss with 4:16 remaining.
ALABAMA (17-15) Rollins 3-8 0-0 8, Haginas 1-2 0-0 2, Hays 0-6 0-0 0, B.Williams 8-19 7-8 28, Jones 1-4 0-0 3, Mazique 3-6 0-0 6, Martin 0-3 1-2 1, London 0-3 0-0 0, Moss 3-6 3-4 9, Ashby 0-0 0-0 0, S.Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Patton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-57 11-14 57.
WAKE FOREST (17-13) Songaila 5-9 8-9 18, Dawson 4-8 2-2 14, Vidaurreta 3-10 4-6 10, O'Kelley 6-14 2-5 15, Amonett 1-3 0-0 3, Murray 1-2 0-0 2, Shoemaker 2-3 0-0 4, Hicks 0-3 3-4 3, Fitzpatrick 0-0 0-0 0, Fuller 1-1 0-0 2, Scott 0-0 2-4 2, Kargbookorogie 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-54 21-30 73.
HalftimeWake Forest 37, Alabama 32. 3-Point goalsAlabama 8-20 (B.Williams 5-11, Rollins 2-6, Jones 1-1, Martin 0-2), Wake Forest 6-19 (Dawson 4-8, Amonett 1-3, O'Kelley 1-7, Hicks 0-1). Fouled outHays. ReboundsAlabama 37 (Moss 10), Wake Forest 39 (Vidaurreta 15). AssistsAlabama 12 (Jones 3), Wake Forest 11 (Vidaurreta 5). Total foulsAlabama 21, Wake Forest 14. A5,348.
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