C.J.'S LAST STAND: Harris leads Deacs over Hokies 90-79
March 10, 2013
By Scott Wortman, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@TieDyeNation)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Playing his last-ever game at the Joel Coliseum, senior guard and Winston-Salem native C.J. Harris made sure he went out in style--and with a win. Harris scored a career-high 29 points and went 6-for-6 from 3-point range to lead Wake Forest to a 90-79 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday afternoon.
The Demon Deacons jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead to start the game and pushed their advantage to 14 at halftime and to as many as 24 in the second half. With the win, Wake Forest (13-17, 6-12 ACC) earns the No. 10 seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament in Greensboro. The Deacons will face No. 7-seeded Maryland on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Virginia Tech (13-18, 4-14) dropped to the No. 12 seed with the loss. The Hokies got 35 points from Erick Green, the nation's leading scorer, but could never recover from the Deacons' quick start.
Wake Forest shot 61 percent in the first half, distributing the ball to tally nine assists on its 14 first-half field goals. The Deacons were 5-for-9 from beyond the arc in the half, led by Harris' 4-for-4 performance. For the game, Wake Forest shot 59.2 percent (29-of-49) for its highest mark of the conference season. The Deacons finished with a season-high 21 assists on the day.
After scoring 19 points in last weekend's Senior Day loss to Maryland, Harris exploded for his sixth 20-point performance of the season and the 18th of his stellar career. He went 8-for-14 from the floor and 7-for-9 from the free throw line. Harris left to a standing ovation when he went to the bench with just over a minute to play in the game.
Devin Thomas added 17 points on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting and also had a team-high eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block.
Arnaud William Adala Moto turned in one of his best performances of the year with a season-high 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Adala Moto was in double figures in the first half with 11 points to help fuel the Deacons' strong start.
Codi Miller-McIntyre turned in a strong return to the court after missing the NC State game with strep throat. The freshman point guard came off the bench to score 10 points and dish out four assists.
Travis McKie chipped in eight points, four assists and two steals.
In addition to Green's 35 points, Virginia Tech got 15 points off the bench from Marquis Rankin and 13 from Jarell Eddie.
The Hokies shot just 39.3 percent in the first half but followed with a 58.6 percent mark in the second half to finish at 49.1 percent (28-of-57) for the game.
The teams split the season series after Virginia Tech earned a 66-65 win in Blacksburg on Jan. 19.
Wake Forest got off to a quick start in the second matchup, scoring the first nine points of the game to force a Virginia Tech timeout at 17:27. Adala Moto fueled the start with five of the nine points.
Green hit a long jumper out of the timeout to put the Hokies on the board, but the Deacons did not relent. A 3-point play from Thomas gave Wake Forest its first double-digit lead at 14-4, and after a Jarell Eddie bucket cut it back down to eight, Harris followed with back-to-back 3-pointers for a 20-6 lead.
The Deacons took their largest lead of the first half when Chase Fischer drained a 3-pointer off a drive-and-kick by Miller-McIntyre to give the home squad a 38-22 advantage. The Hokies responded with five quick points to cut the margin to 11, but Wake Forest scored the only three points in the final minute for a 41-27 halftime lead.
Wake Forest kept the momentum to start the second half, beginning the period with a 9-2 run. The stretch was capped by a 3-pointer from the top of the key by Harris to give the Deacons a 50-29 lead less than four minutes into the half.
The Deacons will open ACC Tournament play on Thursday at 7 p.m. against Maryland at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum. The Terrapins swept the season series, including a 67-57 win in Winston-Salem on Feb. 2. Thursday's game will be televised on ESPNU and on the ACC Network. The game can also be heard on the Wake Forest IMG Sports Network.