May leads Delaware State over Wake Forest 72-65
Nov. 29, 2014
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Delaware State's confidence kept growing on Friday night against Wake Forest.
And senior guard Amere May was the most confident of all the Hornets.
He scored a career-high 32 points that included making 6 of 10 3-pointers and was in a groove for the 36 minutes he logged. Teammate Kendall Gray added 14 points with 16 rebounds in a 72-65 win over the Demon Deacons.
"It's an amazing feeling," May said about beating an ACC school for the first time in school history. "It's what you dream about with all the lights and the cameras."
The Hornets (3-3) had been 0-19 against ACC schools but a steady diet of May's outside shooting and Gray's inside work was the perfect formula to win on the road.
May added four rebounds and an assist as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference school beat an Atlantic Coast Conference school for only the seventh time in history. The ACC has a 221-7 all-time record against the MEAC.
In their last game the Hornets lost at Iona 126-76 on Tuesday night and Coach Keith Walker said despite the blowout his team was confident.
"We just came out of a game where we lost by 50," Walker said. "These guys never bowed their head or looked down. And I told them after that loss 'We are going to go down there and beat Wake Forest.' And when the guys believe it's a totally different thing."
The Hornets (3-3) shot 49.1 percent from the field and held the Demon Deacons to 35.6-percent shooting. Leading scorer Devin Thomas, who came into the game averaging 13.7 points for Wake Forest, was held scoreless as he went 0 for 7 in 28 minutes.
Helping the Hornets was Kendal Williams, who had nine points.
Thomas, a junior forward, never got on track and while he did have seven rebounds, three assists and three steals said the Demon Deacons couldn't match the Hornets' intensity.
"We let him shoot the ball and let him get comfortable," Thomas said about May, who was 10 of 20 shooting on the night. "He's a D-I player and we knew he could score the ball."
With 4:02 to go the Hornets continued to apply pressure and led 63-56, but let the Demon Deacons back into it after five straight scoreless possessions.
The Hornets were clinging to a 63-62 lead with 1:01 to play when May slipped into the teeth of the Demon Deacons defense and made a perfect pass to Gray who made the layup and was fouled. Gray made the free throw to push the Hornets lead back to four. The assist for May was his only one of the night but it was crucial.
With 30.9 seconds left May secured it by scoring on a layup and being fouled. His free throw pushed the lead to six and the Demon Deacons never recovered.
Codi Miller-McIntyre led the Demon Deacons (4-3) with 15 points and Cornelius Hudson and Madison Jones each added 10 points.
Coach Danny Manning of Wake Forest, who is in his first season, said his team didn't look past the Hornets, who were picked in the MEAC preseason poll to finish fifth.
"We're not at that point," Manning said. "We have to step out on the court and be successful on every possession. Tonight, there were far too many possessions where we didn't do that."
Delaware State: May played at Joel Coliseum last season when he played for Division II St. Augustine's against Winston-Salem State. He transferred to Delaware State before this season after spending his first two seasons there. "I came here last year and I played awful and we lost the game when I was with St. Aug's," May said. "I just wanted to play a lot better and it went perfect for me tonight."
Wake Forest: Thomas, a junior, was held scoreless for just the third time in his career. The first two times were in his freshman season against Nebraska and Duke. "They were doubling me and I was passing out of the traps but we were missing shots; but we were moving the ball well," Thomas said. "I was getting easy shots in the first half but I was missing those..I just didn't do my duty or my role and I let the team down."
BLOCK PARTY: Wake Forest had eight of its shots blocked against the smaller Delaware State. Coach Danny Manning of Wake Forest said that was a big factor in the game. "Those eight blocks were huge," Manning said.
Wake Forest: The Deacons will play their fifth straight home game on Tuesday against Minnesota.
Delaware State: Delaware State will play at Hawaii on Tuesday in a game that will be played at 1 a.m. EST.