No. 2 Wake Forest holds off Boston College, 83-63
BOSTON (AP)—A victory over North Carolina helped cement Wake Forest’s spot near the top of the rankings. Beating Boston College did something for the Demon Deacons’ psyche as well.
“I told them, ‘We’ve never beaten Boston College, and pretty soon you’ve got to say: Enough’s enough,”’ Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio said Wednesday night after the Demon Deacons’ first-ever victory over Boston College—a year after they lost to BC by 39. “We rubbed salt in that wound this week.”
Jeff Teague scored 29 points and Al-Farouq Aminu had 15 with eight rebounds as No. 2 Wake Forest followed its victory over the Tar Heels with an easy, 83-63 win against Boston College.
Wake (15-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) tied the best start in school history, matching a record set 82 years ago by the 1926-27 team.
“I thought it was a quality win for us on the road, especially coming off an emotional win on Sunday against Carolina,” said Gaudio, who earned his 100th career victory and avenged last year’s 112-73 loss to BC.
Tyrese Rice scored 20 points as Boston College (13-5, 1-2) lost its third straight—all at home and one to Harvard—since its shocking defeat of then-No. 1 and unbeaten North Carolina on Jan. 4.
“This is the ACC and you have to expect that every night. But we can’t let anybody come into our house and beat us by 20 points,” BC forward Joe Trapani said when asked to compare the top two teams he’s faced this month. “They’re both excellent teams. I think this is about us.”
Trapani had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Eagles, who trailed by 25 points early in the second half before cutting the deficit to 64-55 on Rice’s 3-pointer with 8:06 left. But James Johnson scored two baskets and Teague scored on a fast break and BC never came within 10 points again.
Johnson finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
“I thought he was the player of the game,” Gaudio said.
Teague had a career-high 34 points to help the Demon Deacons beat North Carolina on Sunday and elevate Wake Forest to its highest ranking since Chris Paul had them at No. 2 early in the 2004-05 season.
“There was no hangover from North Carolina. We were too focused on this game,” Teague said. “They beat us by more than 30 points last year. We remember that. We came out early and set the tone.”
Wake dominated BC in the first half, shooting 65 percent and forcing 12 turnovers to take a 47-27 lead. In all, Wake had a 40-29 rebounding edge, outshot BC 55 percent to 37 percent and had nine steals and seven blocked shots.
“We just can’t have our starting backcourt have 13 turnovers,” BC coach Al Skinner said. “That’s unacceptable. We’ve got to correct that.”
But BC didn’t back down: The 6-foot-1 Rice had to be separated from 7-footer Chas McFarland after a loose ball scramble midway through the second half.
Frank Spaziani, the longtime assistant football coach who was promoted to the top job at Boston College on Tuesday, was given a raucous ovation when he was introduced during a first-half timeout. After thanking the fans, he told them to show the same enthusiasm for the basketball team, which trailed 38-22 at the time.
But his encouragement fell flat, as Wake scored the next seven points in 37 seconds thanks to two steals that led to breakaways. In all, Wake scored 19 of the last 26 points of the first half, and the first five of the second while BC missed one layup and had the next three shots blocked.
Teague went 10 minutes without scoring before going the length of the court for a fastbreak layup that made it 70-56.