Deacons ground Eagles, 75-72
Wake Forest had to work until the final seconds to get the win.
The Demon Deacons fell behind by 10 points to start the game, built a 12-point lead in the second half and held off Boston College’s rally in the final nine minutes to seal a 75-72 ACC win Saturday in the LJVM Coliseum.
“I used the term resilient against Virginia, and that term applies once again to the basketball team,” Wake coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “... Our team is resilient. They battled. We got timely stops and we made it interesting all the way to the end.”
C.J. Harris scored a career-high 29 points, including 11 straight early in the first half in scoring 19 before halftime, while Travis McKie added 18 points and Devin Thomas contributed 11 rebounds to lead the Deacons (9-6, 2-1 ACC).
Wake, which has now won five of its last six games with back-to-back close wins against Virginia and Boston College, trailed 10-0 before McKie put it on the board with two free throws with 16:46 left left. Harris then hit four jumpers and a 3-pointer to tie it 13-13 with 12:41.
“I just felt good,” said Harris, a senior guard. “The offense did a great job of getting me open, and they found me. And Coach just kept coming to me. So, I had the easy part — I just had to make the shot.”
The Deacons, who led 38-36 at halftime, opened the second half on a 10-1 run to lead 48-38 and stretched it to 60-48 with 9:31 left. The Golden Eagles, who had won six of seven, then made a push, driving to the basket and getting to the free-throw line — making all 13 during the comeback.
Boston College (9-7, 1-2) twice cut it to one, the last time with 1:28 left, but twice committed turnovers and twice missed shots. It got looks on Joe Rahon’s drive to the basket that drew contact but no foul with 4.2 seconds left and Olivier Hanlan’s 3 at the buzzer that was short.
“It wasn’t pretty, but we competed,” Golden Eagles coach Steve Donahue said. “Wake Forest did a much better job throughout the game. We hung in there on perseverance, not skill or execution.”
Lonnie Jackson scored 23 points to lead Boston College, which shot 52 percent in the first half but dropped to 30 in the second while Wake shot 51 percent for the game. Hanlan added 18 and Ryan Anderson, who is third in the ACC in scoring, had 12 points and 10 rebounds.