Wake Forest 93, NC Central 79
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP)
C.J. Harris added 22 points, Nikita Mescheriakov 15, Tony Chennault 13 and Chase Fischer 10 for the Demon Deacons (3-0), who shot 60.6 percent (20 of 33) in the second half to break open a 35-35 tie at halftime.
Ray Willis scored 23 points to lead four players in double figures for the Eagles (1-3), who outrebounded Wake Forest 34-28. But N.C. Central was just 8 of 22 on 3-pointers, and turned the ball over 17 times.
Landon Clement added 16 points and Dominique Sutton and Ebuku Anyaorah had 14 points each for the Eagles, who fought back from an early eight-point deficit to lead by as many as four in the first half.
But Wake Forest opened the second half with a 14-4 run to take its first double-digit lead. The Demon Deacons extended it to as many as 18 points later in the half, giving them three straight wins to open the season for the second consecutive year.
After Sutton's layup 15 seconds into the second half gave N.C. Central a 37-35 lead, Mescheriakov's 3-pointer with 19:23 left kicked off the Demon Deacons' game-controlling run. Carson Desrosiers' layup put Wake Forest ahead 49-39 with 16:16 remaining.
The Eagles managed to pull back within six points, 52-46, on Clement's 3-pointer with 14:41 left, but Wake Forest pushed its lead back into double digits with an 8-2 run.
The Demon Deacons then put it on ice with a 17-9 run late in the second half. Harris' 3-pointer capped the run with 3:58 left, giving Wake Forest an 87-69 lead, its biggest of the game.
McKie scored all 11 of his first-half points in the opening eight minutes, capped by a jumper with 11:39 left, as Wake Forest hit seven of its first 10 shots to pull ahead 19-11.
But the Demon Deacons went cold, missing five of their next six shots, and N.C. Central responded with an 11-3 run to take its first lead, going up 22-21 on Nick Chasten's tip-in with 7:08 left.
Wake Forest took its last lead of the half a few minutes later, with Mescheriakov - who also had 11 first-half points - making a three-point play to put the Demon Deacons up 29-26 with 4:16 remaining.
The Eagles then went on an 11-2 run, with Jawara Karamo hitting two free throws with 1:37 left to give N.C. Central a 35-31 lead, its biggest of the half. But Wake Forest tied the score in the final 47 seconds on Harris' goaltend layup and jumper.