Wake Forest pulls away late from UNC Asheville, 98-79

Wake Forest pulls away late from UNC Asheville, 98-79
Wake Forest Basketball (Source: Wimberly, Nate)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Chaundee Brown scored 23 points and Olivier Sarr added 21 off the bench, and Wake Forest pulled away in the final minutes Wednesday night for a 98-79 victory over visiting UNC Asheville.

The smaller Bulldogs (1-2), who rallied from an early 14-point deficit to pull into a 72-72 tie with 9:47 to play, squandered a handful of chances to tie or take the lead in the second half against the Demon Deacons (2-1).

The Deacons pulled away with a 13-1 run down the stretch.

Brown shot 6-for-8 from the field, hit all 11 of his free throw attempts and added a game-high 11 rebounds. The 7-foot Sarr made all nine of his shots, was 3-for-4 from the line and grabbed eight rebounds for Wake, which shot a sizzling 70.2 percent from the field, though many of the shots were dunks or layups.

The Deacons finished 33 for 47 from the field, hitting 70 percent in both halves. They also made 28 of 40 free-throw attempts but committed 17 turnovers.

Tajion Jones led Asheville with 22 points. DeVon Baker scored 17 points, including the spinning layup that tied the game midway through the second half. The Bulldogs shot 47.2 percent from the field.

The teams combined for 53 fouls and 70 foul shots.

Asheville never led. Though the margin was single digits throughout most of the second half, the only deadlock after the game’s first basket was brief. Brandon Childress responded to Baker’s tying layup with a basket on the ensuing Wake possession.

The Deacons made their first eight shots on their first eight possessions to race to an early 10-point lead. They extended the lead to 37-23 after Sarr’s dunk completed a four-point possession thanks to a flagrant foul.

Brown scored 15 points on 6 of 7 shooting from the field and 3 of 3 from the foul line for the Deacons, who dominated inside against the smaller Bulldogs. Andrien White had 12 points and Sarr added 10 for the Deacons in the first half. The trio combined to make 14 of 16 field-goal attempts.

The Deacons shot 19-27 from the field in the opening half but committed 10 turnovers.

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