No. 7 Wake Forest routs Boston College 93-76
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP)—Most coaches shy away from extra pressure. Wake Forest’s Dino Gaudio welcomes it.
A promising season was spiraling away from his once-top-ranked team. So, on the night before facing Boston College, the Demon Deacons coach gave his players an unusual pep talk.
“I said, ‘You know what, boys? We’ve got a pressure game (Sunday),” Gaudio recalled. “If you feel pressure, I’m glad, because there’s pressure to win.”’
His team wasn’t fazed.
Jeff Teague scored 27 points, Al-Farouq Aminu added a season-high 26 and No. 7 Wake Forest bounced back after a surprisingly lopsided loss by routing Boston College 93-76 on Sunday.
James Johnson had 12 points and 10 rebounds while L.D. Williams added 11 points for the Demon Deacons (18-3, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot 65.5 percent during the second half, using a big surge during the final 20 minutes to bounce back from a 27-point loss at Miami and claim their second double-digit win over the Eagles.
“(Gaudio) was like, ‘We have to win this game. If we don’t, it’s not good for the Deacs,”’ Teague said. “This is the game that will turn our season around, and we came out and played well.”
Joe Trapani had 19 points to lead Boston College (18-7, 6-4), but just four of those came after halftime. Tyrese Rice added 18 points on 7-of-17 shooting and Corey Raji had 14 for Boston College, which had a five-game winning streak snapped.
“We did not execute defensively very well,” BC coach Al Skinner said. “We lost guys. At times, we had poor recognition on the defensive end. We lost our concentration. And offensively, we didn’t execute very well. We couldn’t get the shots we wanted.”
For much of the way, this one wasn’t as easy as the final score indicated for Wake Forest.
The Demon Deacons entered having lost three of the four games that followed their school-record 16-0 start, and couldn’t pull away from the pesky Eagles until midway through the second half, when Aminu bookended a 21-9 run that put his team in control.
“We kind of let one mistake compound into two, three, four,” Tripani said. “I think that was a killer.”
Both of Wake’s high-scoring stars seemed to rediscover their touch at the Eagles’ expense.
Aminu responded to a miserable four-point performance at Miami with his first 20-point game against ACC competition, hitting all eight shots after the break.
Teague, the ACC’s second-leading scorer, came out of a mild slump with 21 points during a tight first half in which neither team led by more than seven. He was 8-for-8 from the free-throw line, leading a Demon Deacons team that was 18-for-19 from the stripe in the half.
“We were really a confident group, but after two losses—we’re young, and people got down on each other,” Teague said. “But we got back together this week.”
No. 5 Louisville 60, St. John’s 47
At New York, Jerry Smith scored a season-high 21 and the Cardinals rebounded from their first conference loss of the season with an outstanding defensive effort.
The Cardinals (18-4, 9-1 Big East) were coming off their first conference loss. Smith had 19 points in the second half to match Louisville’s total in the first half.
Sean Evans had 12 points and nine rebounds to lead the Red Storm (12-11, 3-8).
No. 23 Illinois 66, No. 12 Purdue 48
At Champaign, Ill., Mike Davis scored 14 points and pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds to lead the Illini into a tie for second place in the Big Ten.
Demetri McCamey added 13 points for Illinois (19-5, 7-4), which never trailed in pulling even with Ohio State two games back of conference leader Michigan State.
JaJuan Johnson scored 17 points to lead Purdue (18-5, 6-4), playing without star forward Robbie Hummel, who’s been out with a hairline fracture in his back but was cleared to play. ^No. 22 Washington 75, Stanford 68
At Stanford, Calif., Quincy Pondexter scored 20 points, including a pair of key free throws down the stretch that helped the Huskies end a 15-game losing streak at Stanford.
Isaiah Thomas added 17 points for the Huskies (17-6, 8-3 Pac-10). Jon Brockman had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Venoy Overton had 11 points.
Landry Fields had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinal (14-7, 4-7).