Al-Farouq Aminu had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Wake Forest beat slumping No. 20 Georgia Tech 75-64 on Saturday night to move into sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Ishmael Smith had the clinching hoop with just over a minute left and surpassed 1,000 career points for the surging Demon Deacons (18-5, 8-3), who won their fourth straight game. Smith had 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds as Wake Forest jumped over Maryland and moved within a game of league-leader Duke.
The Yellow Jackets (17-6, 5-6) went the final 8:50 without a field goal and were done in by 17 turnovers to slip into eighth place in the league.
Gani Lawal had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and freshman Glen Rice Jr. added 14 points for Georgia Tech, which dropped to 1-5 in ACC road games and failed to complete a season sweep of Wake Forest.
The fast-paced, bruising game featured a couple of shoving matches and was full of momentum swings and streaky play. Then it ended with a 15-2 Wake Forest run.
Smith's runner and Tony Woods' tip on consecutive possessions snapped a tie and put Wake Forest ahead 66-62 with 4:28 left. Woods, ejected from Wake's win over Boston College Tuesday for a flagrant elbow, hit two free throws with 3:32 left to put the Demon Deacons ahead 68-62.
Leading 70-64, Georgia Tech allowed Wake Forest to run down the shot clock, and Smith's driving scoop shot in traffic with 1:30 left put it away.
Aminu hit only 7 of 18 shots, but the ACC's top rebounder controlled the glass and added four steals. He also went over 500 career rebounds and Wake Forest put itself in position to perhaps move into the rankings _ possibly to replace Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets fell behind early by 10 points, only to claw back in it by hitting six of their first seven 3-point attempts. Even Maurice Miller, who entered the game 2-for-22 from 3-point range, drained one early.
Then the Yellow Jackets promptly missed six straight 3-point shots, while Aminu scored 16 first-half points for Wake Forest.
Smith hit 1,000 career points on a bucket with just over 16 minutes left to put Wake Forest ahead 46-38. But then the Yellow Jackets started hitting again from distance, with Rice making consecutive 3s.
Freshman Derrick Favors, who was without a field goal for nearly 29 minutes, had consecutive buckets inside as Georgia Tech went ahead 62-60 with 8:50 left.
It turned out to be Georgia Tech's last field goal _ and an end result much different than on Jan. 28 in Atlanta, when the Yellow Jackets cruised to a 79-58 win.
Georgia Tech is much different on the road, however, and Wake Forest improved to 12-1 on its home floor, including 6-0 in ACC contests.
Rice hit 4 of 5 3-pointers, while Brian Oliver and Miller scored 12 points each for the Yellow Jackets.
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