Childress’ hot hand helps Wake Forest down Irish, 75-68

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Brandon Childress scored 20 points as Wake Forest pulled away from Notre Dame late for a 75-68 victory Tuesday.

Childress scored 15 of the points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the 3-point line as Wake Forest (10-15, 3-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) used a 9-2 run in the final minutes to pull away from Notre Dame (13-13, 3-10). Olivier Sarr had 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting and Jaylen Hoard scored 10, including a layup with 2:41 left that broke a 66-66 tie. The victory was the Demon Deacons second in their last nine games.

T.J. Gibbs scored a game-high 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting but had only six after halftime for Notre Dame, which lost its second straight. John Mooney had 16 points and nine rebounds and Prentiss Hubb added 11 for the Fighting Irish.

Both teams had hot shooting hands at the start of the first half that ended with Notre Dame up 36-35, and no one was hotter than Gibbs, who hit his first three shots, three of them beyond the arc, for 17 points. He finished the half 6-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-4 from beyond the 3-point line.

The Irish built their biggest lead, 36-29, on Mooney’s 3-pointer with 3:39 but Notre Dame went cold, missing its final five shots. The Demon Deacons finished on a 6-0 run as Childress had nine and Brown eight.

Gibbs went almost 12 minutes between shot attempts, finally hitting a jumper with 15:05 left in the second half that put the Irish lead back to four, 47-43. But a 3-pointer by Wake’s Sharone Weight Jr. tied the game at 48-48 with 13:23 to go.

The Irish would go without a field goal for 5:02 before Mooney’s layup and free throw put Notre Dame up 51-50 with 10:33. But Wake Forest responded with a 7-2 run, the last five on a Childress 3-pointer and a Wright layup after an Irish turnover for a 57-53 lead with 8:42 left when Notre Dame took a timeout.

Wake Forest pulled away to a 66-57 lead with 5:45 left on a pair of free throws by Torry Johnson as Notre Dame made only three field goals, all by Mooney, in a span of 8:28. But the Irish tied it to 66-66 with 2:56 left on a 9-0 run fueled by Mooney and Gibbs.

BIG PICTURE

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons shot 53.8 percent (14 of 26) in the first half after starting 8 of 12. At one point, the two teams were a combined 68 percent (15 of 22) from the floor. Childress and Sarr were a combined 6-for-6 shooting, including 4-of-4 from beyond the arc, for 16 points, and the Deacons had 12 assists (four by Childress) on their 14 first-half field goals.

Notre Dame: Gibbs, who had only two points on 1-of-9 shooting in a 62-47 loss at Miami on Feb. 6, has been on fire of late. He scored 18 of his team-high 20 points in the second half of Notre Dame’s 69-59 victory over Georgia Tech on Feb. 10 and led the Irish in their 60-54 loss at No. 3 Virginia with 17 points, a total he matched in the first 20 minutes against Wake Forest.

UP NEXT

Wake Forest: Sunday at North Carolina State.

Notre Dame: Saturday vs. No. 20 Virginia Tech.