When it mattered most, Wake Forest played the way a team with mid- to late-March aspirations is supposed to play. The Demon Deacons advanced their NCAA Tournament hopes when they turned a tie game against Boston College into a runaway, 92-78, Tuesday in the first round of the ACC Tournament at Barclays Center.
“We responded OK. I think we can do better,” Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said, referring to the pivotal 14-1 run after the Eagles had drawn even at 53. “We allowed far too many points in the paint. But we were active. There were a couple of times we strung together a few stops in a row that gave us a chance to create some separation.”
Forward John Collins had 14 of his 19 points in the second half for the Deacons (19-12) and totaled 12 rebounds. Guard Bryant Crawford, who like Collins made 11 free throws, scored a game-high 20 points. That included a steal and slam during the key burst.
A tough sight for Boston College (9-23) during the run was that of point guard Ky Bowman returning to the bench on crutches, having injured his knee in the first half.
“We’re not very deep on the perimeter. We really had no subs at guard,” said coach Jim Christian, the former St. Dominic High standout from Bethpage. “They kind of wore us out as the game went on.”