Wake Forest Rallies for 74-71 Defeat of Mercer at Paradise Jam
Nov. 19, 2012
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands - C.J. Harris found Travis McKie for the game-winning baseline dunk with 18 seconds left, as the Demon Deacons rallied for a 74-71 win over Mercer at the Paradise Jam on Monday afternoon at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center on the island of St. Thomas.
Wake Forest (2-2) rallied from 11 down midway through the second half and took its first lead of the game on McKie's dunk, which put the Deacons up 72-71. After a Mercer (2-3) turnover, Chase Fischer hit a pair of free throws to seal the win. The Bears' 3-point attempt at the buzzer came up short.
McKie posted a double-double, the 13th of his career, with game-highs of 23 points and 15 rebounds. The junior went 6-for-12 from the field and 11-for-14 from the free throw line.
Free throws were key to the Deacons' efforts, as Wake Forest went to the foul line 41 times compared to 16 for Mercer. The Deacons were 26-for-41 at the line for 63.4 percent.
Harris finished with 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting, while Fischer came off the bench to score 11 and hit three 3-pointers.
Tyler Cavanaugh had seven points, and Devin Thomas turned in five points, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Codi Miller-McIntyre led the team with three assists, and McKie added three steals.
Wake Forest out-rebounded Mercer 35-30 and had 15 offensive boards. The Deacons scored 19 second-chance points on the day.
Mercer was led by Jakob Gollon who had 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Bud Thomas added 10 points for the Bears, who shot 47.4 percent (9-for-19) from 3-point range as a team.
Wake Forest had to battle back late in the game to pull out the win. The Deacons trailed 57-46 with just over nine minutes to play but used an 8-0 run to get back in the game.
The Deacons cut the deficit to one, 59-58, on a Cavanaugh free throw, but the Bears fought back with six straight points to go up 65-58 with 4:31 to play.
Wake Forest used a 7-1 run, capped by three free throws from Cavanaugh, to get back within one at 66-65. After a Mercer bucket, Harris drilled a 3-pointer off an inbounds pass to tie the game at 68-68 with 1:40 remaining.
Mercer countered with a 3-pointer of its own, and Harris followed with a pair of free throws to pull Wake to within 71-70 with 42 seconds left. A Bears turnover set up the game-winning feed from Harris to McKie. Harris drove right, drawing a help defender, and found McKie open on the baseline. McKie went unimpeded to the basket for the go-ahead dunk.
With 15 boards in the game, McKie surpassed the 500-rebound mark for his career. He now has 502 rebounds in 67 career games and is the 35th player in program history to accomplish the feat.
The Deacons will return home to host William & Mary on Friday, Nov. 23. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the LJVM Coliseum. The game will be broadcast online on ESPN3 and can also be heard on the Wake Forest IMG College Radio Network.