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January 12, 2013

Harris leads Wake past BC

Winston-Salem, NC - C.J. Harris calmly sank two free throws with 0:04.2 left in the game on his way to a career-high 29 points as Wake Forest (9-6, 2-1 ACC) weathered the storm to hang on for a 75-72 win over a pesky and improved Boston College (9-7, 1-2 ACC) team.

"It got physical down there at the end," Harris said. "It was a very physical game. I just felt good. [The] offense did a great of getting me open. Coach kept coming to me. I had the easy part. I just had to make the shot."

Harris had to carry Wake early when the Deacs were without another source of offense, as the Eagles jumped out to a 10-0 lead. The senior from Winston-Salem, who scored 19 points in the first half, engineered a 11-0 run and an 18-8 surge as Wake Forest battled back to stay in the game and to take the lead, which it never surrounded after Harris made a three-pointer to put the Demon Deacons on top 29-28 with 5:50 remaining in the first half.

"Early on in the game C.J. Harris was just outstanding," Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "I think he scored 11 straight, which really brought us back into the ballgame."

"As I said we're never going to refer to our players as freshmen, but C.J. with his experience really put the rest of the team on his back and carried us through in that first half. He did a great job, and gave our other players confidence."

The Eagles twice trimmed Wake's lead down to one in the final two minutes after trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half.

Travis McKie, who scored 18 points, gave Boston College one last chance when he traveled after stealing the inbounds pass. The Eagles regained possession with 0:01.5 remaining in regulation, but Olivier Hanlan failed to make what would have been a game-tying three-pointer as time expired.

"People are already calling me Chris Webber," McKie said. "In my mind I thought the clock was over; obviously not, so two mental errors on my part, the offensive foul is on me, so mental errors from the captain shouldn't happen."

Observations …

--- Wake Forest was able to get out in transition, outscoring BC 23-4 in fast-break points.

--- Devin Thomas continues to be a force on the glass, as pulled 11 rebounds. He has had double-digits boards in three of the last four games.

The 6-foot-9 freshman from Harrisburg, Pa. also did an impressive job slowing the ACC's third leading scorer Ryan Anderson (17.1 points per game) down. Anderson was held to 12 points.

--- Wake was strong on the defensive end with McKie and Aaron Rountree, forcing the Eagles into 17 turnovers. The Deacs scored 17 points off Boston College's turnovers.

--- The Eagles did a better job at getting to the charity strip, making 25-33 free-throw attempts to Wake Forest's 10-18.

Q-&-A's …

Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik

Opening statement: "I used the term resilient against Virginia. That term applies once again to this basketball team. We got down 10-0 out of the gate, and we came storming back and we built ourselves a lead. I thought we got tentative. We weren't very aggressive on the offensive end, kind of looking for the clock to run out."

"They on the flipside were very aggressive, putting their head down and driving and trying to draw fouls and get to the line and get to the rim and have our guys get sucked in for a couple of drive and kick threes."

"And we on the flipside offensively got nonaggressive, but that's something we can work on and fix, but our team's resilient. They battled. We got timely stops, and made it interesting all the way to the end."

Coach, this is the first time Wake Forest has gotten back-to-back conference wins during your tenure. Does that mean anything to you at all? "Yeah, it means I can coach maybe Tuesday night or Wednesday."

Boston College head coach Steve Donahue

Opening statement: "I think it was a hard-fought game. Give Wake Forest credit. Most of the game they executed well on the offensive end and took care of the basketball. Travis McKie and C.J. Harris did a great job being leaders on the offensive sid of the ball. We competed very well today."


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