Stetson spoils Bzdelik’s debut at Wake, 89-79
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP)—Ridge Graham had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Stetson beat Wake Forest 89-79 on Friday night to spoil Jeff Bzdelik’s coaching debut with the Demon Deacons.
Tyshawn Patterson scored 20 points and Joel Naburgs added 16 for the Hatters (1-0). They led by 19 and never trailed in the second half in their first win over an Atlantic Coast Conference team since 1974.
J.T. Terrell, one of five freshmen on the roster, had 26 points and Ari Stewart added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Wake Forest.
The Demon Deacons fell to 19-2 against current members of the Atlantic Sun Conference and lost an opener at the Joel Coliseum for the first time since the building opened in 1989.
Freshman Travis McKie had 10 before fouling out with 56.2 seconds left for Wake Forest, which had been 42-5 on its home floor since the start of the 2007-08 season.
Bzdelik, who was hired from Colorado in April following the firing of Dino Gaudio, became the first coach since Jack McCloskey in 1966 to lose his debut with the Demon Deacons.
His debut with a young roster was marked by questionable shot selection, carelessness with the ball and a lack of rebounding presence. Wake Forest was held to one field goal during an 8 1/2 -minute stretch of the second half, turned it over 17 times and was outrebounded 45-33.
Aaron Graham scored 11 points for Stetson, which took its first double-figure lead with 13 minutes left when Luis Jacobo’s short jumper made it 57-46.
The Hatters faced only one deficit of consequence in the first half, trailing 31-24 with about 4 minutes left, but dug out of that hole with a 21-7 run that spanned halftime.
Patterson capped that burst with a bank shot that put the Hatters up 45-38 with 17 1/2 minutes remaining. He later gave Stetson its largest lead with a layup in transition that made it 75-56 with 4 1/2 minutes left. By then, Stetson was on its way to its first victory over an ACC team since topping Virginia 78-76 on Jan. 5, 1974.
Neither team had much returning experience. Stetson, which started three sophomores and a freshman, had a combined nine seasons of experience on its roster. Guard C.J. Harris is the lone returning starter for a Wake Forest team that reached the second round of the NCAA tournament, and half the 10 scholarship players on the roster are freshmen.