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Wake Forest upends No. 7 Duke in double overtime behind Childress’ late-game heroics

Wake Forest upends No. 7 Duke in double overtime behind Childress’ late-game heroics

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski made the mistake twice in his post-game press conference, referring to Brandon Childress as his father, Randolph.

Probably OK, for this night at least, when Brandon etched himself further into Wake Forest lore.

Previously 0-for-10, Brandon Childress drilled a game-tying 3-pointer with 15 seconds left, and then scored 13 of his 17 points in the two overtime periods of Wake Forest’s 113-101 win over No. 7 Duke on Tuesday night at Joel Coliseum.

“I don’t care about percentages. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that throughout my career, I had an 0-for-12 against Carolina last year, this year I was 0-for-7 against Penn State,” the senior point guard said. “I just wanted to find the right moment to take over the game and I did that.

“But it wasn’t just me. Olivier (Sarr) had one of his best games. … Chaundee (Brown) with 24, Jahcobi (Neath) has been playing out of his mind these past few games.”

Indeed, the junior center Sarr had a career-high 25 points. Brown had, if it was possible in this ear-splittingly loud arena with a crowd of 11,681, a quiet 24 points on 8-for-12 shooting. And Neath scored 16 points for the second straight game.

All of that would’ve been for naught if not for three Blue Devils turnovers in the final 90 seconds, helping to erase a nine-point deficit with 1:21 left.

And all would’ve been for naught if not for Childress’ big-time shot from the top of the key.

“When you go through what I went through in terms of people doubting you and always hearing, ‘You’re not as good as your father. You don’t belong in the ACC,’ and all you want is an opportunity, and I did that. I got my opportunity and I took full advantage of it,” Childress said. “I was 0-for-10, I stayed with it and made shots when it mattered.”

Childress missed a floater from the baseline as time expired.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I thought that was going in, man,” Brown said of that shot. “At the end, we won, I’m happy for everyone.”

The first overtime saw Wake Forest (12-15, 5-12 ACC) lead by four with 22.3 seconds left, but Duke’s Alex O’Connell hit a clutch 3 and Tre Jones made two free throws with 6.6 seconds left to tie the game at 97-97.

For all the drama that carried through the end of regulation and the first overtime, the second one proved to ultimately be anticlimactic. The Deacons scored the first seven points, ignition provided by — who else? — Childress’ 3-pointer on the first possession.

The closest Duke came in the second overtime was six, at 107-101 with 57 seconds left, and Wake Forest scored the game’s final six points to lock up the 12-point margin.

“Toughness, we stuck to our principles, great ball movement, communication, great stops and everything took care of itself,” Sarr said.

This was Wake Forest’s first win over a top-10 team since the win over Louisville in 2017 — Childress is the only player who was on the roster for both. And so, he was the only one who had previously been a part of a court storming.

This one had something new, though: Childress was picked up during the celebration by Boogie Basham of the Deacons’ football team.

“I thought that was an unbelievable college basketball game,” Coach Danny Manning said. “Probably a little easier to say tonight because we won the game.”

Duke (23-5, 13-4) was in the driver’s seat for the ACC regular season championship, thanks to Florida State’s win over Louisville on Monday night. And this was a Duke team that eviscerated Wake Forest by 31 about two months ago.

Maybe there’s just something to a late-season rematch against Duke that works for Wake Forest. Last season saw the Deacons come one shot away from an upset at Cameron Indoor Stadium — this season, Childress’ heroics were enough.

Duke didn’t lead until Cassius Stanley’s three-point play one minute into the second half, which broke what was a 39-39 score at halftime.

“They outplayed us. We were fortunate to be tied at halftime. They really came and outplayed us in that first half. Justin Robinson saved us,” Krzyzewski said. “I didn’t think we came the way we should. We show our youth so much.”

Wake Forest shuffled its lineup, with Neath starting for the second time and Andrien White coming off the bench for the first time this season.

Neath played 24 games this season without scoring in double figures, and then broke through with 16 last week against Georgia Tech. He followed it up with 16 points against Duke, 11 of them coming in the first half — eight of those coming at the free-throw line.

Manning’s get-to-the-line and paint-touches directives were checked in emphatic fashion in the first half — Wake Forest took 22 shots from the field and 19 free throws in the first 20 minutes, and scored 27 of its 39 points either in the paint or at the free-throw line.

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