Houston uses late run to beat Wake Forest
Houston broke open a tie game with a late 8-0 run and held on to beat Wake Forest 78-73 on Sunday in the consolation final of the Paradise Jam tournament in Lynchburg, Va.
Rob Gray’s free throw with 1:51 left gave the Cougars a 76-68 lead.
Houston (3-1) missed its next three straight free throws as Wake Forest (1-4) cut the lead to three.
Gray’s jumper with 15 seconds left put the game out of reach.
The Demon Deacons scored six straight points despite going more than three minutes without a field goal.
Houston broke a scoring drought of almost four minutes when Devin Davis scored to make it 65-61 with 6:29 left.
After a Brandon Childress 3-pointer put Wake Forest up 53-51, the Cougars went on a 12-2 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 63-55, midway through the second half.
VanBeck scored a game-high 23 points and Devin Davis added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Cougars.
Bryant Crawford scored 17 points on 4-for-13 shooting and Keyshawn Woods added 15 off the bench.
There were 10 lead changes in the first half and neither team led by more than six.
After Wake Forest took a 30-24 with 8:05 left in the first half, Wes VanBeck accounted all the Cougars’ points — including three 3-pointers — in an 11-3 run to retake the lead.
VanBeck was 4-for-7 — all from three — in the first half.
Bryant Crawford was 3-for-4 from beyond the arc for the Demon Deacons, who made 7 of 11 in the opening 20 minutes.
Wake Forest led 42-41 at the break.
Both teams were hot early.
Houston made eight of 11 shots to start the game and Wake Forest made five of its first eight from the floor.
The Demon Deacons return home to face UNC-Greensboro on Friday.
Houston hosts Incarnate Word on Saturday.