Williams leads sluggish Wake Forest past Winston-Salem 73-53
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP)—L.D. Williams had 19 points and 13 rebounds while Wake Forest overcame a lethargic performance to beat Winston-Salem State 73-53 on Friday night.
Jeff Teague had 15 points for the Demon Deacons (3-0), who were never seriously threatened and remaine unbeaten under first-year coach Dino Gaudio. Still, it was hardly the performance they hoped for before playing a pair of tougher nonconference opponents on the road.
Wake Forest shot just 35 percent while only Williams—a 6-foot-4 sophomore — seemed to play with much energy. Yet it didn’t matter on this night because the Rams, a fledgling Division I program from just across town, just couldn’t shoot at all.
Winston-Salem State (1-3) hit just 15 of 57 shots (26 percent), including 5-for-28 from 3-point range, while committing 20 turnovers. The Rams didn’t manage their first field goal until Darius Floyd hit a 3 nearly 7 1/2 minutes in and missed 31 of their first 38 shots, including a 1-for-14 stretch to start the second half.
The Demon Deacons did little to take advantage as the Rams fired up miss after miss. They gradually built a 16-point halftime margin despite their own shooting woes and never let it slip below 13 the rest of the way in front of a sluggish home crowd.
But, ugly or not, it’s a win. And it will have to carry the Demon Deacons into Monday’s trip to Iowa for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge followed by a trip to another instate program, Charlotte, a few days later.
Williams finished 5-for-9 from the field, while Teague hit 11 of 14 free throws—part of the team’s 29-for-39 performance at the foul line. James Johnson added 11 points.
Brian Fisher scored 18 points to lead the Rams, while Floyd had 12 points and 10 rebounds.