Deacons Remain Perfect With 93-79 Win over NC Central
Nov. 20, 2011
The Demon Deacons maintained their clean sheet for the season by moving to 3-0 with the win. NC Central dropped to 1-3 after back-to-back losses.
Sophomore Travis McKie led the way for the Deacs with a career-high 25 points, and senior Nikita Mescheriakov pitched in a career-high 15 points with a perfect 3-for-3 mark from behind the arc. Junior C.J. Harris fell just short of his own career-high with 22 points. Sophomore Tony Chennault (13 points) and freshman Chase Fischer (10 points) joined them to give Wake Forest five players in double figures.
Chennault recorded a career-high six assists. Fischer also set a new career-high mark in the same category with five, while Mescheriakov matched his with three. In total, the Deacons had 23 assists, the highest mark since Dec. 22, 2008, when they dished out 28 against East Carolina.
Collectively, Wake was 34-of-59 (57.6 percent) from the floor and shot a stellar 12-of-17 (70.6 percent) from long range. From the charity stripe, the Deacs were 13-of-20 (65 percent).
Wake Forest jumped out to a sizable lead early in the matchup, leading by as many as 10 points following a layup by McKie at the 13:08 mark. Mescheriakov also starred early for the Deacs, draining a pair of three-pointers at 17:35 and 16:52 to help build the lead.
The Eagles wasted no time in jumping back into the game, however. After falling behind 17-7, they exploded for a 15-4 run that gave them the lead with 7:08 remaining in the half. Nine of the points during the run were scored by Ray Willis, who led all scorers at the break with 13 points.
Both sides battled back and forth over the final minutes of the first half, but Harris scored four unanswered for Wake Forest over the last minute and a half to even the game at 35 apiece heading into the locker rooms.
Eleven of Wake's 14 baskets in the first half came with assists. Chennault led all players with four, and Fischer, Mescheriakov and Anthony Fields each added pairs of their own.
Coming out of the break, the Deacs were on fire. As a team, they made their first seven shots as part of a 17-6 run that allowed them to take control of the game. McKie keyed the run with a pair of three-point buckets, and Harris added four more for Wake, as well.
NC Central battled back to close the lead to single digits, but they were unable to get any closer than seven the rest of the way.
The Deacons played excellent basketball down the stretch to put away the Eagles. Leading 67-56 with 8:42 to play, their defense allowed only five baskets for the rest of the contest.
Willis led the Eagles with 23 points and was one of four in double figures. Landon Clement netted 16, while Dominique Sutton and Ebuka Anyaorah each had 14. Sutton fell just one rebound short of a double-double. Karamo Jawara led all players in rebounding with 10.
NC Central posted a 43.4 field goal percentage (23-of-53) for the game and was held to just 8-of-22 (36.4 percent) shooting from behind the arc. The Eagles took advantage of their chances from the free throw line, draining 25 of their 28 attempts for an 89.3 percentage.
Wake Forest will return to action on Thursday, Nov. 24, as they face the Dayton Flyers in the first round of the 2011 Old Spice Classic at the Jostens Center - the home of basketball at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. The tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2. In addition, it will also be broadcast by the Wake Forest Sports Network from IMG College for radio listeners.
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