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Wake barely gets past Utah Valley in OT

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Tyree Appleby saved the night for unbeaten Wake Forest, and proved that practice makes perfect.

Appleby dropped in a 3-pointer from the left wing with four-tenths of a second remaining to give the unbeaten Demon Deacons a 68-65 victory over Utah Valley at Joel Coliseum on Tuesday night.

Camer Hildreth tossed a pass three-quarters of the court to Matthew Marsh, who jumped for the ball and then passed to Appleby, who was to his right. Appleby's jumper went in before the buzzer, and the clock hit zero. It was Appleby's only 3-pointer after he'd missed his first four.

After a review, the referees determined that time was left and gave Utah Valley one more chance, but Trey Woodbury's desperation shot sailed wide of the basket as time ran out.

The game-winning play worked after the Demon Deacons worked on it in a practice before tipoff. They also practice the play every day.

"We go over our end of the game situations every practice," Appleby said. "Coach always tells us you have one chance to run those."

Wake Forest Coach Steve Forbes said he had his team line up on the baseline in October and practice the same play to determine who was the best option for pulling off the play when the time came.

"So you figured out who can throw it, then you figured out who can catch it and then you put those two guys up front," he said. "And so, they executed it. Sometimes, you've got to get a little lucky."

Appleby scored 23 points on 5-for-15 shooting. The Demon Deacons had shooting woes all night, hitting at a 32.3 percent pace. Andrew Carr scored 15 and Daivien Williamson added 10. While Wake Forest was cold from the field, it hit 18 of 21 free throw tries.

Justin Harmion had 19 points and Le'Tre Darthard scored 18 before he fouled out. Utah Valley hit 33 percent of its field goals and was 11-for-12 at the free-throw line.

The Wolverines of the Western Athletic Conference led 11-2 in the first five minutes, and were still up 63-61with 2:51 to play in overtime. A layuip by Carr at 2:14 tied the score and Wake Forest took the lead on a scoop shot by Appleby with 26 seconds left.

Woodbury tied the score again with a jumper just inside the 3-point line with four seconds left.

Both Wake Forest (3-0) and Utah Valley (2-2) are heading to Montego Bay, Jamaica for the Jamaica Classic. But the Demon Deacons will have a much happier flight, but not one that will find them on the beach.

"We're going down there, and I told them it's a business trip," Forbes said. "You know, we're going there to win, not to just have vacation. I don't even have any shorts packed."

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