WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Skip Prosser contemplated going with a different lineup down the stretch, or calling timeout to set up a play.
But the first-year Wake Forest coach remained true to his heart and left senior Broderick Hicks in the game -- and left his team alone.
The result was an 85-79 win for the 25th-ranked Demon Deacons over Minnesota in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Hicks made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 58 seconds left -- his only basket of the game -- as the Demon Deacons rallied in the final minute Tuesday night.
"Seniors are supposed to make plays like that," Prosser said of Hicks. "Down through the time I've coached, I've gone with veteran guys. Even at the end, we thought about going big because they were pounding us on the boards, but we went with the veteran guys. And we were going to call a timeout, but I like to let the kids win the game."
The strategy worked.
Wake Forest (5-1) missed 20 of its 25 3-point attempts and were beaten to most loose balls and rebounds, but Prosser's veteran team found a way to pull out the victory in the final minute, outscoring the Golden Gophers 11-0 down the stretch.
"We beat a very good team, a team that has probably been preparing for us since Oct. 13 and somehow, some way the kids figured it out," Prosser said.
Hicks, who didn't start the second half, was 0-for-7 from the field before making his key shot.
"We kept the game to six, seven or eight points," Hicks said. "We didn't let them break the game open. That's where our experience came in. We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end."
The Demon Deacons got 23 points from Darius Songaila, 21 from Josh Howard and 19 from Antwan Scott to give the Atlantic Coast Conference a 3-1 lead after the first day of the nine-game series.
Duke beat Iowa and Maryland defeated Illinois for the ACC's other two wins, while Ohio State downed North Carolina State. There are five more games in the series Wednesday night.
Minnesota was up 79-74 with 1:30 left, but Scott made a three-point play, Hicks sank his big shot, Ervin Murray made two free throws, Songaila two and Howard one.
Wake Forest finished 24-for-28 from the foul line, including 15-for-17 in the second half.
"We stuck together and we didn't give up," Scott said. "We just kept pushing it out. We got together in the huddle and said, 'Look fellas, we're going to win this game."'
Five of Wake Forest's games have been decided by seven points or less -- four of them victories.
"We had a lot of guys who didn't want to make mistakes, and we got out of the aggressor mode," Minnesota coach Dan Monson said of his young squad.
"I told our players this is something we have to build on. We're not into moral victories and we're not happy with the outcome, but if we play that hard and we learn from this game, we have an opportunity to become a better basketball team."
Dusty Rychart scored 20 of his 22 points in the first half to lead the Golden Gophers (3-1).
Bauer 4-14 0-0 11, Rychart 8-15 5-6 22, Rickert 4-9 0-0 9, Burleson 4-16 2-3 12, Bennett 4-9 3-3 12, Robinson 0-0 0-0 0, Hargrow 0-0 0-0 0, Fleming 4-6 0-0 9, Esselink 0-0 0-0 0, Holman 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 30-73 10-12 79. WAKE FOREST (5-1)
Howard 9-15 1-2 21, Songaila 5-14 13-13 23, Scott 7-10 5-8 19, Hicks 1-8 2-2 5, Dawson 3-8 0-0 8, Downey 0-1 0-0 0, Danelius 2-3 1-1 5, Murray 0-3 2-2 2, Lepore 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 28-67 24-28 85.
Halftime--Minnesota 39, Wake Forest 36. 3-Point goals--Minnesota 9-26 (Bauer 3-9, Rychart 1-1, Rickert 1-3, Burleson 2-8, Bennett 1-3, Fleming 1-2), Wake Forest 5-25 (Howard 2-4, Songaila 0-2, Hicks 1-7, Dawson 2-7, Downey 0-1, Murray 0-1, Lepore 0-3). Fouled out--Dawson. Rebounds--Minnesota 41 (Rychart 13), Wake Forest 45 (Songaila 10). Assists--Minnesota 9 (Burleson 4), Wake Forest 16 (Hicks, Murray 4). Total fouls--Minnesota 23, Wake Forest 15. A--9,227.
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