Wake Forest holds on to top High Point 87-83By JOEDY McCREARY, AP Sports Writer Wednesday, Dec 7, 2011
Travis McKie added 18 points for the Demon Deacons (6-3).
They shot 58 percent (28 of 48), hit 13 3-pointers, led for all but roughly 3 minutes and withstood a furious rally to claim their 13th win in 14 meetings between the schools.
Nick Barbour had a season-high 35 points and seven of the Panthers’ 15 3-pointers.
Barbour’s 3 with 30.4 seconds left pulled High Point to 85-83. Nikita Mescheriakov and Chennault each hit a free throw to push the lead to four. The Panthers (2-6) couldn’t get a good look during their final possession, with Xavier Martin and Barbour missing 3s in the final 15 seconds.
High Point packed its 1,750-seat Millis Center to celebrate Minnesota coach Tubby Smith—who played for the Panthers from 1969-73—and to welcome an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent to town for the first time.
And the intimate arena—the smallest to play host to the Demon Deacons since the 1950s—was really rocking down the stretch as the Panthers hit 3-pointer after 3-pointer to wipe away Wake Forest’s huge lead.
High Point erased most of a 15-point deficit with a 19-7 run midway through the second half in which it held Wake Forest to one field goal during a six-minute span.
Shay Shine finished with 19 points and Martin added 11 for the Panthers.
Mescheriakov had 12 points for Wake Forest, which was short-handed with backup forward Daniel Green not in uniform due to illness. That left coach Jeff Bzdelik’s rotation only seven scholarship players deep.
The Demon Deacons led by 13 three times in the first half following runs of 24-8 and 14-4 before foul trouble on Harris, Fischer and Mescheriakov led Bzdelik to play two walk-ons simultaneously. That allowed High Point to claw back in the game, with Martin’s tip-in with roughly one minute left pulling the Panthers to 43-37.
Mescheriakov’s follow-up at the buzzer put Wake Forest up eight at the break, before the Demon Deacons reeled off seven quick points to start the second half. Harris’ jumper in the lane with 18 1/2 minutes remaining gave them their largest lead, 52-37.