Deacons get past Colonels 75-48

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Wake Forest saw the clock run off early and had the lights go out late during Monday’s game against Nicholls State.

The various court malfunctions weren’t enough to stop the Deacons, who overcame a slow start to beat the Colonels 75-48 and snap a two-game losing streak.

Mitchell Wilbekin and Cornelius Hudson scored 12 points each for Wake Forest (3-2), which led by as many as 37 points in the second half.

”Anytime you go from high school ball to the caliber of the ACC, there’s going to be an adjustment period,” Deacons coach Danny Manning said. ”They’re starting to understand that. They’ve got to continue to work and get better, but this was a good outing for them.”

Wake Forest shot 42.9 percent from the field (21 of 49), including 5 of 17 on 3-pointers, and made 28 of 36 from the line. The Deacons also outrebounded the Colonels 42-21, forced 18 turnovers and held them to 33.3 percent shooting in the first half in taking a 47-20 halftime lead.

”They did a couple things that we should’ve been prepared for,” Nicholls State coach J.P. Piper said. ”But we were too willing to get out of our offense. We abandoned our system in the first half, and Wake Forest exploited that.”

Liam Thomas scored 13 points to lead the Colonels (0-3).

The Deacons struggled in the first five minutes, missing seven of its first nine field goal attempts. That allowed the Colonels to lead briefly at 4-3 on Thomas’ layup with 16:45 left.

But Wake Forest responded with an 11-2 run to take their first double-digit lead, going up 19-8 on Devin Thomas’ fast-break dunk with 10:50 left. Wilbekin capped a 17-4 run with his second 3-pointer of the half to put the Deacons up 36-14 with 4:13 left, their first 20-point lead.

Wake Forest would take their biggest lead of the half at 46-18 on Andre Washington’s pair of free throws with 1:34 remaining. The Deacons had the biggest lead of the game at 65-28 on Konstantinos Mitoglou’s layup with 9:02 left.

TIP-INS

Nicholls State: Junior guard Amin Torres led the Colonels in scoring (14.5 points per game) through their first two games – and didn’t start either one. Monday, Torres was held to five points on 2 of 5 shooting (including a pair of 3-point misses), and did not play at all in the second half.

Wake Forest: Devin Thomas, the Deacons’ leading scorer and rebounder, finished with seven points and six rebounds Monday, and saw his streak of double-doubles end. He had finished with double-doubles in the first four games, the first time a Wake Forest player has accomplished that since Tim Duncan opened the 1996-1997 season with double-doubles in 17 consecutive games.

MISSING TIME

The clock began running without explanation while Wake Forest guard Madison Jones was attempting his second free throw with seven seconds remaining in the first half. Jones missed the free throw, but the Deacons snared the rebound only to have the buzzer sound before getting off a shot.

After conferring at the scorer’s table for several minutes, game officials called the teams back on the floor and reset the clock to 3.5 seconds with Wake Forest getting possession. But Greg McClinton missed a 10-foot jumper just before the buzzer, leaving the Deacons with a 27-point lead.

LIGHTS OUT

The main court lights went out unexpectedly with 2:54 remaining in the second half, with Wake Forest leading 70-42. The only illumination came from the above-court scoreboard and video screens, and smaller floodlights. After several minutes, game officials opted to continue.

UP NEXT

Nicholls State: Visits No. 18 Michigan on Saturday.

Wake Forest: Hosts Mount St. Mary’s on Wednesday.