Demon Deacons Power Past Paladins 79-55
Dec. 18, 2012
By Alex Botoman, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@TieDyeNation)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest had three players score in double figures, led by C.J. Harris' 20 points, as the Demon Deacons came on strong in the second half to blow by Furman 79-55 on Tuesday at Joel Coliseum.
The Demon Deacons (5-5) finished the first half on a 10-0 run to take a 37-30 lead into the locker room and carried the momentum into the second half, outscoring the Paladins (3-7) 42-25 in the final period.
"Early on in the game, we missed a combination of five layups and dunks. But the one thing we've been working on is mental toughness and didn't defuse our defensive energy," said head coach Jeff Bzdelik. "Then we ended the half on a 10-0 run; finally making some shots because we were manufacturing good shots; that's a positive sign."
In addition to his 20 points, which came on 8-of-10 shooting, Harris added five assists. Travis McKie scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Tyler Cavanaugh finished with a career-highs of 12 points and five rebounds.
"We just were persistent and played hard," said Cavanaugh. "We knocked down some shots. When C.J. gets hot early and goes off, that helps us to (do the same)."
The Deacons played unselfish basketball, posting a season-high 17 assists on 28 field goals, and also took care of the ball, committing only 10 turnovers, which tied their season-low. In addition to Harris' five assists, Codi Miller-McIntyre dished out four helpers and Madison Jones added three more.
Wake Forest shot 53.8 percent (28-of-52) from the field in the game, its highest mark since the season opener against Radford, including 60 percent (15-of-25) in the second half.
The Deacons dominated down low, outscoring the Paladins 46-12 in the paint and also converted in transition, holding a 14-2 lead in fast break points.
With 12:45 left in the first period and Wake Forest trailing 15-11, Jones, Aaron Rountree III and Cavanaugh checked into the game and made an immediate impact. Jones assisted on back-to-back Harris buckets, including a flying dunk, to send the Deacons back in front 16-15.
Furman hung with Wake Forest for most of the first half, but the Demon Deacons finished the period on a 10-0 run to take a 37-30 lead into the break. Four of the points came from McKie, who finished two easy buckets thanks to nice passing, and the other six were courtesy of Harris and Cavanaugh, who each drilled 3-pointers.
The Deacons continued to play well in the second half, starting the period on a 17-6 run to go ahead 54-36. Cavanaugh again came up big during the stretch, scoring seven points in a row at one point, to help Wake Forest expand its lead.
Wake Forest pushed the advantage to 20 points midway through the half at 60-40, and Furman would not get closer than 16 points the rest of the way.
The Demon Deacons will be back in action against UNCG on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Greensboro Coliseum. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and can be heard on the Wake Forest IMG Sports Network.