Wake Forest 81, Georgia Southern 72
Travis McKie matched a career high with 23 points – including
six on one critical trip downcourt – to lead Wake Forest past
mistake-prone Georgia Southern 81-73 on Wednesday night.
C.J. Harris added 20 points and Tony Chennault finished with 14
for the Demon Deacons (2-0). They shot nearly 42.9 percent (24 of
56), overcame their 15 turnovers by forcing the Eagles into 22
miscues and held off Georgia Southern’s comeback bid.
Jelani Hewitt finished with 18 points and five 3-pointers to
lead Georgia Southern (0-2). Despite 49.1 percent (28 of 57)
shooting, the Eagles fell to 8-35 against current Atlantic Coast
Conference teams and were denied their first victory over a
power-conference team since 1992.
Hewitt hit 3-pointers 25 seconds apart to pull Georgia Southern
to 50-45 with 9:17 left before McKie single-handedly gave the Demon
Deacons enough breathing room.
He took a feed from Chennault on a fast break, was intentionally
fouled by Cameron Baskerville while going up for a layup, and hit
two free throws with 7:43 left. Wake Forest retained possession
because of the foul, and McKie drew contact in the lane roughly 30
seconds later, knocking down two more free throws to make it
Georgia Southern didn’t get closer than seven the rest of the
way. The Demon Deacons sealed it by making 8 of 10 free throws in
the final 1:01.
Freshman Chase Fischer finished with 13 points while McKie
equaled the 23 points he scored against Boston College last March
for Wake Forest.
The Demon Deacons were sloppy at times but overall took an
encouraging step forward, after a miserable 2010-11 season marked
by a humiliating string of losses to mid- and low-major programs
and 15 ACC defeats. Before last year, Wake Forest had opened at
least 2-0 every season since 1998.
Eric Ferguson finished with 18 points, Willie Powers III had 13
and Ben Drayton III added 12 for the Eagles, who are coming off an
equally rough season in which they went 1-17 in the Southern
They lost their 20th straight game played in the state of North
Carolina – they haven’t won here since beating Elon in 2007.
Wake Forest led 34-23 at the end of a messy first half in which
the teams combined for 23 turnovers. The Demon Deacons took the
lead for good during a 17-3 run that was keyed by 3-pointers from
Chase Fischer, Harris and McKie.
Georgia Southern, meanwhile, had 10 turnovers in the first nine
minutes and finished the half with more giveaways (13) than field