CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Playing with a seven-man rotation, the Miami Hurricanes saved some energy in the closing minutes Saturday by shooting a lot of free throws.
Chris Lykes scored 25 points, including 12 free throws in the final five minutes without a miss, and the Hurricanes earned their first Atlantic Coast Conference victory by beating Wake Forest 76-65.
Late-game fades have been an issue for the Hurricanes, but in the second half they went 17 for 18 from the line while also shooting 52 percent.
"Guys were still energetic," Lykes said. "In some of the earlier games we would have leads, but guys would be a little tired, and that's how teams would come back on us. We did a good job controlling the pace."
Miami (9-7, 1-3 ACC) bounced back from its worst league start since joining the ACC in 2005.
"I don't think anybody likes losing, so it's definitely good to get one under our belts," Lykes said.
Wake Forest (7-8, 0-3), with two freshman starters, lost for the fifth time in six games.
"Our guys are taking steps," coach Danny Manning said. "They just need to take them quicker."
Lykes finished 14 for 14 at the line and added four assists. Teammate DJ Vasiljevic scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and Ebuka Izundu had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Sophomore Chaundee Brown scored a career-high 22 points for the Demon Deacons. Brandon Childress, their leading scorer this season, shot 2 for 12 and totaled only 11 points.
"Just one of those games where the shots didn't go in," Manning said.
That was true of Childress' teammates too. The Demon Deacons had a season-high in misfires from 3-point range, going 7 for 33, and shot 34 percent from the field overall.
They were averaging 19 points from the free throw line but went only 8 for 9 there.
"That was the difference in the game," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said.
To keep Wake Forest off the line and keep his team out of foul trouble, Larranaga relied on a zone for much of a seesaw first half. Zach Johnson put the Hurricanes ahead to stay with a 3-pointer two minutes into the second half.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Lykes and Vasiljevic gave Miami a 57-49 lead with eight minutes to go. A 10-0 run — including eight free throws by Lykes — increased the Hurricanes' advantage to 70-53.
"In the second half they were far too comfortable on that offensive end," Manning said.
Miami forward Dewan Hernandez, who has yet to play this season because of an eligibility issue, will have a hearing Monday before the NCAA.
The Demon Deacons lost their ninth game in a row in Florida, with their last win in 2011-12.
CRACKING THE ROTATION
Hurricanes freshman Anthony Mack started his third game in a row and contributed nine points in 27 minutes.
"It's crazy. He was the 12th man on the team in September," Larranaga said. "I don't think he even got in the first few games. But he has done a really good job. He's working hard defensively. I tell everybody — you want playing time, play defense."
Miami has a week off before playing host to No. 12 North Carolina on Saturday. Larranaga said he'll spend some of the week recruiting.
"We need a couple of more bodies," he said.
The Demon Deacons, who are in a stretch where they'll face four ranked teams in five games, play host to No. 15 North Carolina State on Tuesday.
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