Wake Forest Posts 73-66 Exhibition Win Over Rollins
Nov. 2, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest put four players in double figures, led by Travis McKie's 17 points, and the Demon Deacons overcame a slow to start to post a 73-66 exhibition win over Rollins on Friday evening at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum.
Facing Division II power Rollins, whose roster featured six former Division I players, the Deacons had to work to earn Friday's preseason win.
The Tars jumped out to a 9-0 lead and then a 16-6 advantage before the Deacons rallied.
Wake Forest overcame the deficit with a 14-3 run midway through the first half to take its first lead of the game, 20-19. The Deacons pushed their advantage to 15 in the second half before fending off a late rally for the win.
"We got down, but we fought our way back," said Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik. "I'm very pleased with the fact that we competed and won against a team that really challenged us offensively and defensively."
McKie (7-for-9) and Harris (8-for-10) combined to go 15-for-19 from the free throw line, including 5-for-6 in the final minute.
Arnaud William Adala Moto led the Deacons with seven rebounds, while Thomas pulled down six boards.
Madison Jones dished out a game-high five assists and tallied seven steals in a great defensive effort.
As a team, the Deacons had just 13 turnovers and forced the Tars into 23 miscues. Wake Forest scored 24 points off the Rollins turnovers.
"We played a veteran team that we had to guard and defend through the shot clock," said Bzdelik. "We had to stay disciplined and defend against multiple situations. Offensively we played a team that switched, so that was beneficial because that in itself is a challenge. Couple that with guys wearing the uniform for the first time, the jitters and the excitement and forgetting where to go."
Mitch Woods led the Tars with 14 points, while Kyle McClanahan followed with 13 points to go along with six rebounds.
Wake Forest got off to a slow start, as Rollins scored the first nine points of the game just three minutes in. The Tars built a 16-6 lead at the 13:07 mark, but the Deacons recovered with an 8-0 run over the next three minutes to pull to within 16-14.
That run led into a 14-3 stretch that saw Wake Forest take its first lead, 20-19, on a dunk from Miller-McIntyre. The Deacons would not trail the rest of the game.
Wake Forest took a 28-25 lead into halftime and extended its advantage early in the second half. Leading 32-30 at the 17:14 mark, the Deacons used a quick 7-0 run to push their lead to 39-30.
The Deacons enjoyed their largest advantage when Aaron Rountree III hit a 3-pointer at the 8:42 mark to push the lead to 54-39.
The Tars would not go away quietly, as the visitors fought back to pull within five at 62-57 with just over three minutes to play.
However, a Thomas layup and consecutive buckets from McKie helped stave off the would-be rally, pushing the Deacons lead back to double digits at 68-57.
Wake Forest went 5-for-6 at the free throw line in the final minute to seal the win.
"This was an excellent game for us," said Bzdelik. "We knew it would be very difficult because we were playing a bunch of former Division I players who run the Princeton offense to perfection. Anyone who knows anything about basketball knows that this game was very beneficial for a young team."
Wake Forest will open the regular season next Friday, Nov. 9, against Radford. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Joel Coliseum. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and can also be heard on the Wake Forest IMG College Radio Network.