Wake Forest wrecks Virginia's ACC title bidMar 3, 2007 - 11:37 PM WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Kyle Visser and lowly Wake Forest destroyed Virginia's dream of an Atlantic Coast Conference title.
Visser scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lift the Demon Deacons to a 78-72 triumph over the 25th-ranked Cavaliers.
It was the fourth straight home victory for Wake Forest (14-15, 5-11 ACC), which avoided a last-place finish in the conference thanks to Miami's loss to Florida State on Saturday.
Demon Deacons coach Skip Prosser was particularly happy for Visser and fellow senior Michael Drum, who delivered huge performances in their final home game.
"I am really proud of our kids," Prosser said. "Senior Night is an emotional time. It always has been for me, even back to when I was a high school coach.
"I believe Kyle Visser and Mike Drum, even if they never played a second of basketball for Wake Forest, our university would be a better place for both of those kids having matriculated here."
Visser, who shot just 4-of-13 from the floor but made nine free throws, had mixed feelings about his last college game.
"It's bittersweet," he said. "A good chapter in my life is ending, but it's very hard that it's ending. This has been my home for four years. I don't think it's fully hit me yet."
The Demon Deacons prevented the Cavaliers (20-9, 11-5) from capturing their first ACC regular-season crown since the 1980-81 campaign. Virginia, which shared the conference crown three times from 1982-1995, still can clinch at least a share of this year's title.
"Virginia is a really good team," Prosser said. "I thought our defensive effort was probably the best we have had all year."
"Credit to Wake Forest. They played very well today and inspired," Virginia coach Dave Leitao said. "They had a number of guys who had contributions."
Leitao dispatched the notion that his team overlooked the Demon Deacons in preparation for next week's ACC Tournament.
"I don't think anybody underestimates anybody," he said. "We had issues this year. At times, we went on the road and didn't play up to our capabilities."
Drum scored 16 points, L.D. Williams had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Jamie Skeen chipped in 11 points for Wake Forest, which rallied from a four-point halftime deficit.
Prosser attributed the second-half surge to the play of point guard Ishmael Smith, who finished with seven points, nine boards and eight assists.
"I felt that at halftime, he was being too tentative," Prosser said. "I am not sure if that was a reflection of what (Sean) Singletary was doing when Ishmael was on defense. I told our player at halftime we are going to get back to playing Wake Forest basketball."
Singletary scored 25 points to pace the Cavaliers, who shot just 29 percent (9-of-31) after the break to lose their third consecutive road game.
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