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Deacons hold off Illinois behind Crawford’s heroics
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Deacons hold off Illinois behind Crawford’s heroics

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In the span of a few seconds, Bryant Crawford had an assist, a steal and a 3-pointer.

It’s even more impressive when considering Crawford appeared to have dislocated a finger somewhere in there, and it proved to be the spark to Wake Forest’s 80-73 win over Illinois on Tuesday night at Joel Coliseum.

Crawford led the Deacons (3-4) with 20 points, while Doral Moore, Mitchell Wilbekin and Brandon Childress scored 12 points apiece for Wake Forest, which won for the second straight game after a disastrous start.

Wilbekin and Keyshawn Woods stroked 3-pointers in the last three minutes, Woods’ coming after Illinois cut the Deacons’ lead to 73-70.

Crawford assisted on a Chaundee Brown layup, stole the inbound pass and drilled a 3-pointer from the corner in front of Wake Forest’s bench.

Somewhere in that fray, apparently, Crawford dislocated a finger on his left hand.

He tried to call a timeout to referee Brian Dorsey to no avail, so Crawford committed a foul and checked out of the game.

The run didn’t stop there, with a four-point play coming from Childress.

Crawford returned to the game later.

Wake Forest benefitted from a couple of strange sequences in the second half. The first came in the first minute, when a video review wiped out what was called as an offensive foul against Crawford.

The second came on a missed 3-pointer by Childress. Moore appeared to tip the ball in, while Illinois coaches wanted goal-tending called and a loose-ball foul was called on the Illini. A video review resulted in the 3-pointer awarded to Childress, Wake Forest kept the ball, Crawford was fouled while shooting a 3 and made all three free throws for a six-point possession.

Moore made his first five shots before missing a jumper in the second half. The first five ran his streak to 16 made field goals, which is the longest in school history. The record was previously shared by Kyle Visser and Anthony Teachey.

WAKE FOREST 80, ILLINOIS 73

ILLINOIS (6-1) Black 3-12 3-4 10, Finke 1-3 0-0 2, Lucas 2-3 0-0 5, Alstork 3-8 0-0 8, Smith 2-8 0-0 5, Eboigbodin 0-0 0-0 0, Nichols 4-11 4-4 14, Williams 3-5 0-0 7, Frazier 0-2 2-2 2, Jordan 6-10 4-4 20. Totals 24-62 13-14 73.

WAKE FOREST (3-4) Thompson 1-2 1-2 3, Moore 6-7 0-0 12, Crawford 5-10 8-9 20, Wilbekin 4-6 2-3 12, Brown 3-8 2-2 9, Okeke 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell 1-1 0-0 2, Sarr 0-1 2-4 2, Childress 3-6 4-5 12, Woods 1-6 4-4 7, Eggleston 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 24-47 24-31 80.

Halftime–Wake Forest 35-34. 3-Point Goals–Illinois 12-29 (Jordan 4-6, Nichols 2-3, Alstork 2-5, Lucas 1-2, Black 1-3, Williams 1-3, Smith 1-3, Finke 0-2, Frazier 0-2), Wake Forest 8-17 (Childress 2-3, Wilbekin 2-3, Crawford 2-5, Brown 1-3, Woods 1-3). Fouled Out–None. Rebounds–Illinois 35 (Black, Nichols 7), Wake Forest 23 (Moore 6). Assists–Illinois 15 (Lucas 4), Wake Forest 11 (Crawford 4). Total Fouls–Illinois 24, Wake Forest 13. A–5,782 (14,665).

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