Johnson’s 18 leads Wake to 70-58 win over Presbyterian

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP)—James Johnson scored a game-high 18 points as Wake Forest fended off stubborn Presbyterian for a 70-58 win on Wednesday night.

L.D. Williams and Jeff Teague each added 14 points for the Demon Deacons (10-3), who posted their Atlantic Coast Conference-best 13th straight home court win despite trailing the underdog Blue Hose by a point early in the second half. Ishmael Smith handed out a season-high 11 assists.

Al’Lonzo Coleman scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half to lead Presbyterian (1-17), which suffered its ninth straight loss. Bryan Bostic added 13 and Ryan Lamb 12 for the Blue Hose, who are in their first season of NCAA Division I competition.

After clinging to a two-point halftime lead and trailing briefly in the early stages of the second half, Wake Forest took charge for keeps with just under 10 minutes left.

Johnson’s three-point play with 9:41 remaining gave the Demon Deacons a 50-47 lead, and L.D. Williams followed with driving dunks on Wake Forest’s next two possessions. Jeff Teague’s 3-point shot capped the 10-0 spurt and put the Demon Deacons in front 57-47 with 8:15 to play.

The Demon Deacons grabbed the upper hand early by scoring 16 unanswered points en route to a 22-6 lead. The Blue Hose fueled the run by missing five shots—all from 3-point range—and committing five turnovers.

But Wake Forest’s fast start couldn’t keep Presbyterian down. The Demon Deacons failed to score on seven straight possessions, and the Blue Hose got back into the game with a 15-4 run. Bostic’s transition layup that just beat the buzzer left Presbyterian trailing 31-29 at the half.

Bostic scored 13 first-half points to lead the Blue Hose, including three shots from 3-point range. James Johnson scored 13 to lead Wake Forest.

The Demon Deacons played the first half without 7-foot center Chas McFarland, who sat after receiving two technical fouls and being ejected from last Sunday’s win over Air Force. McFarland entered the game with 18:05 remaining and contributed seven points and six rebounds down the stretch.

Wake Forest shot 52 percent from the floor and committed just eight turnovers. Presbyterian shot 42 percent, including 10-of-30 from 3-point range. The teams finished even in rebounding with 29 apiece.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Presbyterian
A. Coleman A. Coleman
8-12,  16 Pts
5 Rebs, 1 Assists
 Wake Forest
J. Johnson J. Johnson
8-13,  18 Pts
4 Rebs, 2 Assists

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Points
Rebounds
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Wednesday, Jan 2