David Efianayi scored 15 points as visiting Gardner-Webb used strong late-game free-throw shooting to defeat Wake Forest 73-69 on Saturday afternoon at Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Jose Perez’s 14 points, Christian Turner’s 13 points and DJ Laster’s 12 points also gave a boost to the Bulldogs (10-5), who own two victories this month against Atlantic Coast Conference members with a triumph at Georgia Tech also on their resumé.
Gardner-Webb made 18 of 20 consecutive free throws in the final 2:03. It was 35-for-40 for the game from the foul line.
Brandon Childress scored 18 points, while Jaylen Hoard, Torry Johnson and Chaundee Brown all added 12 points for Wake Forest (6-5), which shot 7-for-25 on 3-point attempts. Four of the successful launches came in the final two minutes.
Gardner-Webb scored 15 straight points for a 54-42 lead.
Wake Forest endured a scoreless stretch of more than six minutes before Torry Johnson’s free throw with 3:38 left. This span included Hoard fouling out with 4:48 to play.
Hoard’s fifth foul came when he fouled Nate Johnson on a 3-point attempt, resulting in three made free throws. Nate Johnson followed with a basket on the next possession.
Childress’ 3-point basket pulled Wake Forest within 61-55 with 59 seconds left. After two Turner foul shots, a Brown 3-pointer cut it to 63-58 but that was a close as it got until Childress’ three free throws at the 14-second mark and then three more at the 7.6-second mark.
Wake Forest’s non-league slate, which concludes next week against visiting Cornell, also lists a home loss to Houston Baptist.
Wake Forest led 28-26 at halftime despite 13 first-half turnovers.
The Demon Deacons were 5-for-21 from the field, but made up for it with 15-for-22 free-throw shooting to account for more than half of their production at that juncture.
Gardner-Webb had 13 first-half points from players off the bench, while the Demon Deacons received 11 points from their reserves by the break. Wake Forest starters combined to shoot 3-for-11 from the field in the opening half, though Brown had nine points.
Gardner-Webb reserve guard Jaheam Cornwell had four fouls in the first half and exited with his fifth foul with 10 minutes to play.
—Field Level Media