McKie stars as Wake Forest defeats Elon 89-70
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP)—Travis McKie had career highs of 22 points and 15 rebounds as Wake Forest fought back from a slow start to beat Elon 89-70 on Saturday night.
Gary Clark added 17 points, Ari Stewart 16, Ty Walker 12 and C.J. Harris had 11 points and eight assists for the Demon Deacons (2-2), who overcame 22 turnovers by shooting 54.8 percent from the field and outrebounding the Phoenix 48-26.
Chris Long scored 17 points, Roger Dugas added 14 and Drew Spradlin had 11 for Elon (1-2), which blew a 12-point lead early in the first half to trail 37-28 at halftime.
Elon, picked to finish fifth in the Southern Conference’s North Division this season, came into Saturday’s game as underdogs against the Demon Deacons. However, it was the Phoenix that took command early against their bigger rival from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Wake Forest—picked to finish 12th in the ACC—strugged in the opening six minutes of the first half, missing its first four shots from the field and turning the ball over six times. That allowed Elon to pull ahead by double digits, going up 14-2 on Rylen Beaumont’s jumper with 14:15 left.
But the Demon Deacons got their game on track soon after that, whittling away at the Phoenix’s lead with a 22-8 run—capped by a pair of Clark 3-pointers—that put Wake Forest ahead 24-22 with 6:33 left.
With Elon going without a field goal for more than 11 minutes, the Demon Deacons extended their lead into double digits with a 13-1 run.
Harris’ 3-point play with 2:15 remaining gave Wake Forest a 37-23 margin, its biggest of the first half.
The Phoenix managed to stay within striking distance early in the second half, pulling within 53-45 on a layup by Long with 12:21 left. But Wake Forest responded with 11 unanswered points, capped by McKie’s 3-pointer with 10:30 left, to push its lead back into double digits.
The Demon Deacons pulled ahead by as many as 23 points three times, the last at 83-60 on McKie’s dunk with 4:15 remaining.