Collins scores 17, Mitoglou 15; Wake Forest beats BC, 79-66

Boston College's Jerome Robinson (1) reacts to his dunks over Wake Forest's John Collins (20) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball in Winston-Salem, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) After allowing Boston College to score almost at will inside the arc during the first half, Wake Forest found itself facing the prospect of an 0-3 start to ACC play. But the Demon Deacons found their defense in time to key a game-changing run and register a much-needed conference win.

The Deacons held BC to 6-of-25 shooting in the second half, including 2-of-15 performance from 3-point range, and Wake Forest surged to a 79-66 win on Tuesday night.

A 23-5 run, punctuated by a John Collins dunk, that gave Wake Forest a 61-48 lead proved decisive. The Demon Deacons (10-5, 1-2 ACC) held Boston College without a field goal for eight minutes, 55 seconds during that stretch.

It was a seismic shift for the Eagles, who were coming off a 61.5 percent shooting performance from 3-point range in their last outing, a 96-81 win over Syracuse on New Year’s Day.

”If you watched them play the last two games, they’ve been shooting the cover off the ball. But I thought we did a good job of contesting shots and rebounding the basketball,” Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said.

”In the second half, I thought we settled for 3s, and we stopped attacking the basket,” Boston College coach Jim Christian said. ”We can’t shoot the ball that poorly and go win on the road in this league.”

While the Eagles (8-7, 1-1) languished, the Demon Deacons utilized offensive balance to key the decisive run. Collins had 17 points, and three other Deacons finished in double figures. Dinos Mitoglou added 15 points, Austin Arians had 12 and Bryant Crawford scored 11.

Wake shot 54.2 percent from the field in the second half.

”We go on that run, and I don’t know if you can name a certain guy that was the key in it,” Manning said. ”There was a lot of good ball movement, sharing the basketball, taking what the defense gave us.”

Jerome Robinson had 20 points for Boston College. Ky Bowman added 14 points, but was only 3-of-15 from the field, including 1 of 8 from 3-point range.

BIG PICTURE

Wake Forest: The Deacons avoided what would have been an 0-3 start to ACC play heading into a difficult six-game stretch, which includes contests against highly-ranked teams from Virginia, North Carolina, and Duke.

”In our league, it’s tough,” Manning said, pointing to the Tar Heels needing overtime to hold off Clemson on Tuesday as an example. ”That’s our league. For us, we’ve got to use this as momentum.”

Boston College: The Eagles’ return to winning ways in the ACC was short-lived. Boston College had lost 20 consecutive games against ACC opponents before opening conference play this year with a win over Syracuse.

NO THREES FOR ”THREE-NOS”

Mitoglou, a 6-10 forward known for his perimeter-shooting prowess, finished with 15 points. That wasn’t unusual. But the fact that the junior did so without even attempting a 3-pointer raised eyebrows.

”It’s like the first game I didn’t shoot a 3 in my life,” Mitoglou said with a grin, as his teammate Collins checked the box score for confirmation, seemingly in disbelief.

”Wow. I didn’t notice that,” Manning said. ”Seriously, I didn’t notice that. He made a concerted effort today to roll down into the post, and he did a really good job of things that don’t show up in the stat sheet. He posted up when he had a guard on him and drew some fouls, which helped us get into the bonus, and made them think about doing something different with their ball-screen coverage.”

UP NEXT

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons travel to No. 11 Virginia to play on Sunday night. It will be their fourth game of the season against ranked opponents, all of which have come away from Winston-Salem.

Boston College: The Eagles continue their road trip through the heart of ACC country with a game at No. 8 Duke on Saturday.