WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest men's basketball team battled to a 76-74 exhibition victory over the Queens Royals Friday night at the LJVM Coliseum. It was the final preseason test for the Demon Deacons before starting regular season play next Friday against Georgia Southern.
Keyshawn Woods led the way with 21 points against the Royals, who enter the season ranked No. 2 in the preseason NABC Division II coaches poll. Bryant Crawford finished with 14 points and eight rebounds while Brandon Childress recorded 12 points.
Despite Queens jumping out to a 3-0 start, the Demon Deacons quickly went on an 11-0 run to build a eight-point lead. However, the Royals capitalized on a Deacon scoring drought and closed the lead to just five with 10 minutes remaining in the half. Queens continued to chip away at the Deacs' lead but the Deacons used a three-pointer from Woods with just over six minutes to go as a catalyst for a 10-0 run that gave them a 31-18 lead. Wake Forest continued to build its lead, and eventually took a 38-26 edge into halftime.
After the break, Wake Forest used a 10-4 run to hit their largest lead of the night at 50-33. However, the Royals used an 8-0 run of their own to bring the score within five at 62-57 with under four minutes remaining. Queens continued to pressure the Deacs and took advantage of a Wake Forest scoring drought to pull within two with under a minute remaining. With 19 seconds to go, Woods drew a foul on a layup and made the free throw to give the Deacs a 71-67 advantage. The teams battled it out at the charity stripe, combining to go 8-for-10 from the line in the final 12 seconds. Despite a triple from Queens at the buzzer, Wake Forest managed to hold on to the 76-74 victory.
Nine Demon Deacons, including all five starters, recorded points. Freshmen Chaundee Brown recorded nine points and Olivier Sarr had four points in their Wake Forest debuts. Terrence Thompson led the Deacs with 11 rebounds.
DEMON DEACON DEBUTS Freshman guard Chaundee Brown and graduate transfer forward Terrence Thompson made their first starts in a Wake Forest uniform Friday night. Brown was a consensus top-40 recruit, the highest recruit at Wake Forest since 2008, while Thompson played his last two seasons at Marshall. Freshmen Olivier Sarr and Melo Eggleston also made their Wake Forest debuts.
UP NEXT Wake Forest opens the 2017-18 regular season on Friday, Nov. 10 against Georgia Southern. Tip at LJVM Coliseum is set for 7:30 p.m. as part of a double-header with the women's team that will face Texas Southern at 4 p.m.