GREENSBORO – Wake Forest made history on Friday night.
With a unlikely victory over second-seeded Miami, the seventh-seeded Demon Deacons advance to the semifinals of the ACC women's tournament for the first time since 1988.
It took an inspired effort to push out the Hurricanes, a team girded by first-team All-ACC guard Riquna Williams and Shenise Johnson. Somehow, playing at a fast pace, the Deacs pulled out a 81-74 victory at Greensboro Coliseum.
It's the first time Wake Forest has won two games in the same tournament. Last time the Deacs reached the semifinals in 1986 but only won one game that season.
"We beat a great team," Wake coach Mike Petersen said. "Our energy level was good. Our sense of urgency was so good. When plays needed to be make, they got them made."
This was a totally different effort than the one the Deacs gave in a 64-39 loss to Miami on Jan. 26.
This time Wake received a stellar performance from senior forward Secily Ray, who scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Guard Chelsea Douglas added 18 points off the bench, helping the Deacs outscore Miami's bench 34-2.
"Wake Forest was way more excited than us and they won," Miami coach Katie Meier said. "All the hustle stats were in their favor."
Rebounded went Wake's way: 42-38.
"We did not show up for this game," Johnson said, "and the result was losing."