NICEVILLE, FLA. – Junior forward Jake LaRavia and guard Alondes Williams, a grad transfer, combined for all 11 points in overtime enabling Wake Forest to stop Oregon State, 80-77, Friday night thus earning a spot in the championship of the Emerald Coast Classic.
The Demon Deacons will play LSU (6-0) for the championship in a 6 p.m. tip-off Saturday at Raider Arena on the campus of Northwest Florida State.
LSU also played an overtime game in its semifinal round test, holding off Penn State, 68-63.
The outcome spoiled a valiant comeback by Oregon State, which trailed at one point in the game, 44-22. The Beavers, suffering their fifth straight loss, will play Penn State in the third-place game Saturday.
Williams finished with a game-high 24 points, including seven in overtime.
LaRavia scored 17 points and tallied seven rebounds, five assists and three steals for Wake Forest.
“We played really well in the first half and not as great in the second,” said Wake Forest head coach Steve Forbes. “We have to give a lot of credit to Oregon State for how they got back into the game. We missed some good shots in the second half. We found a way to rally and a way to win. The most important thing is that we did not come out of here with a loss.”
With the win over the Beavers (1-5), Wake Forest defeated its first Pac-12 opponent since Nov. 25, 2015 against UCLA. In his seven seasons as a Division I head coach, this is the first season head coach Forbes has started 6-0.
Senior forward Rodrigue Andela led a balanced Oregon State attack with 16 points, while junior guard Gianni Hunt came off the bench netting 11. Guard Dexter Akanno and forward Warith Alatishe each added 10 points.
Senior guard Daivien Williamson posted 14 points for Wake Forest.
The Beavers made just 2-of-14 shots beyond the three-point arc, while committing 13 turnovers.
LaRavia and Williamson fueled a 15-3 run that gave Wake Forest a 37-18 advantage as the duo recorded a slam dunk-and-one opportunity and a three-pointer, respectively.
“We will learn from it and we will move on,” added Forbes, whose team shot just 28 percent in the second half after scorching the nets at a 54.5 percent clip in the first half. “We have a big game tomorrow against LSU with a quick turn around so we have to be ready to play.”
Freshman guard Cameron Hildreth gave Wake Forest its first 20-point lead of the night with a three-point basket, and further extended the lead on the following possession with a layup to bring the score to 44-22 with under four minutes to go before intermission.
Wake Forest entered halftime with a 48-29 lead after Williamson and LaRavia halted a 7-0 Oregon State run with a pair of jumpers
During a 12-minute span in the second half, Oregon State embarked on a 30-10 run to knot the game at 63 points apiece with 5:36 remaining in regulation.
Oregon State shot 56.5 percent from the floor in the second half, while finishing the game hitting 43.3 percent (27-58)
Wake Forest had the ball on the last possession of the second half with the score tied, 69-69. Williams drove into traffic on the final play of regulation but could convert the potential game-winner at the rim and the teams headed to overtime.
Oregon State only scored two points over the final two minutes of overtime, and Williams iced the game with a pair of free throws to force the Beavers’ Jarod Lucas to attempt a three-pointer to tie the game, which he missed.