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

goals (nine).