Wake Forest gets by The Citadel 82-54

BILL KISER (The Associated Press)
The Associated PressNovember 22, 2013

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Coron Williams scored 12 points and Wake Forest overcame first-half shooting problems to beat The Citadel 82-54 on Thursday night.

Devin Thomas added 11 points and Travis McKie 10 for the Demon Deacons (5-0), who won their final tuneup game before playing No. 2 Kansas in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament next week in the Bahamas.

Brian White scored 18 points and Matt Van Scyoc added 12 for the Bulldogs (2-4), who shot just 35.8 percent (19 of 53), turned the ball over 16 times and were outrebounded 45-34 by Wake Forest.

Those numbers helped the Demon Deacons overcome 36.4 percent shooting (12 of 33) from the field and 6 of 14 from the line in the first half.

Wake Forest finished with a 14-9 advantage in points off turnovers, an 11-2 edge in second-chance points (thanks to a 17-7 advantage in offensive rebounds) and outscored The Citadel 16-0 on fast-break opportunities.

The Demon Deacons shot 43.8 percent (28 of 64) from the field for the game, their first game above 40 percent in their last three games.

Despite the shooting problems, Wake Forest fought off a late Bulldogs run to take a 34-27 lead at the half. The Demon Deacons then pushed their lead into double digits in the opening minutes of the second half.

Williams helped Wake Forest put the game away midway through the second half, hitting three of his four 3-pointers during an 18-3 run, which put the Demon Deacons ahead 75-47 with 4:16 remaining.

Wake Forest's shooting problems began early in the first half, scoring just six points in the first 4 minutes against the pesky Bulldogs.

A brief hot streak led to a 10-2 run by the Demon Deacons, with a pair of free throws by Thomas putting Wake Forest ahead 16-6 - its first double-digit lead - with 11:26 left.

The Demon Deacons' shooting touch wouldn't last long, however, and neither would their double-digit lead. The Citadel fought back to cut the margin to two points, 29-27, on White's layup with 2:19 remaining.

Wake Forest made just 2 of its last 11 shots in the period, including a run of six straight missed layups leading up to White's basket.

But Thomas ended the run with a layup at the 2-minute mark to push the Demon Deacons' lead back to four, and Tyler Cavanaugh hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put Wake Forest up by seven points at the break.