Wake Forest holds off late rally, tops Louisville 80-72

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Damari Monsanto knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the final three minutes and Wake Forest held off a late Louisville rally to earn an 80-72 win Saturday.

Louisville trailed by 18 points after Cameron Hildreth’s jumper put the Demon Deacons up 62-44 with 7:22 left, but Jae’Lynn Withers hit two 3s and Mike James knocked down three more as the Cardinals roared back to cut the deficit to just three, 70-67, with 2:40 remaining.

Monsanto hit a wide-open 3 from the corner and Tyree Appleby hit two free throws to push the Wake Forest lead back to eight and after Withers hit two free throws, Monsanto stroked a deep 3 to make it a nine-point lead, 78-69 with 1:26 left.

Monsanto finished shooting 5 of 12 from distance, 8 of 16 overall from the floor, to lead Wake Forest (11-5, 3-2 ACC) with 21 points. Hildreth hit 8 of 10 from the floor and finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Appleby added 13 points and eight assists and Daivien Williamson hit 3 of 6 from distance off the bench and contributed 13 points.

Louisville trailed by 17 points at intermission after hitting just 11 of 30 from the floor. James, who was 1 of 3 from beyond the arc in the first half, hit 4 of 6 in the second half and finished with 24 points to lead the Cardinals (2-14, 0-5). El Ellis had 20 points and eight assists with a pair of steals and Withers added 11 points and five rebounds off the bench.

Louisville, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of its 1983 Final Four team before tip-off, lost at home to Wake Forest for the first time. The Demon Deacons now are 9-4 all-time in the series and have won back-to-back games.

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Wake Forest plays host to Florida State Wednesday before traveling to face Boston College Saturday.

Louisville plays at Clemson Wednesday and plays host to Pittsburgh Sunday.

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