WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Freshman J.T. Terrell scored a season-high 32 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left to help Wake Forest beat Iowa 76-73 on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Terrell hit seven 3-pointers, none bigger than when he lofted a shot off the dribble over Bryce Cartwright that dropped cleanly through the net and set off a rowdy celebration by the home crowd.
Terrell's 32 points are the most by an Atlantic Coast Conference freshman this season. The Demon Deacons (4-3) needed every one of them, too, as they fell behind by 18 points late in the first half before rallying to set up the thrilling finish.
May scored 17 points to lead the Hawkeyes (3-4).
Early on, it didn't seem there would be much buzz about this game, considering how easy Iowa made everything look in the opening half. But that was before Wake Forest put together a 27-4 run spanning halftime, including a spurt of 18 unanswered points in the second half, to erase that deficit and lead by as many as 10 points with 9 minutes left.
Iowa staged its own rally, getting a three-point play from May off a steal and transition layup to take a 71-70 lead with 3:17 left.
But on this night, everything started and ended with Terrell. A slender 6-foot-3 freshman, Terrell scored 26 points in the opening loss to Stetson and has simultaneously thrilled and frightened fans with his quick release and occasionally wild play this season.
He seemed to illustrate that in the first half, missing his first three 3-point attempts and committing six turnovers before finding his shot and finishing with 13 first-half points.
He kept knocking down the shots after the break, including a 3 over two defenders that gave Wake Forest its first lead of the second half at 46-43 with 13:47 left to charge the home crowd. But maybe just as importantly, he settled down and didn't commit a turnover in the second half.
The Demon Deacons improved to 9-2 in the series between the two conferences, including 6-0 at home.