Williams leads the way as Wake Forest wins opener
Winston-Salem, NC (Sports Network) – Eric Williams scored 22 points and pulled
down nine rebounds to lead No. 18 Wake Forest past Mississippi Valley State,
78-64, in their opening round match of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Joel
Trent Strickland added 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 3-for-3 from
behind the arc, and 12 rebounds for the Demon Deacons (1-0), who have now won
12 straight season openers.
Justin Gray chipped in 10 points and eight assists for Wake Forest, which will
play George Mason in the next round on Friday.
Richard Cannon scored 19 points, while Mike Thomas added 13 off the bench for
the Delta Devils (0-1), who lost their first game under new head coach James
Green, who took over for Lafayette Stribling after he retired following last
Stanford Speech had 11 points in the loss as MVSU shot only 38 percent from
the floor, compared to 66 percent by the Deacons.
Wake Forest found itself down 10-8, 3:42 into the game until Kyle Visser’s
layup ignited a 16-0 run that staked the Demon Deacons to a 24-10 lead with
10:22 remaining. However, the Delta Devils would respond with an 8-0 spurt of
their own, capped with a Thomas jumper, to cut it to 24-18 with 9:14 remaining
in the opening half.
MVSU didn’t quit after that and another 8-0 run later pulled the Devils to
within 27-26 with just over five minutes left in the first half. The two teams
would stay close for the rest of the stanza and the Deacons carried a 35-33
lead into halftime.
Wake would score the first five points of the second half for a 40-33 lead and
Williams’ layup increased the Deacons’ lead to 42-36, 2 1/2 minutes into the
half. Then, with the Deacons ahead 52-44, the Devils used an 8-0 spurt to tie
it at 52-52 with just under 10 minutes left in the second frame.
Later though, with the Deacons ahead 59-56, Wake finally began to pull away
after a 15-4 run. The string began with a Michael Drum jumper with 7:46
remaining and ended on a Williams dunk with just under three minutes left for
a 74-60 Wake advantage, sealing the win for the Deacons.
This was the first-ever meeting between the two teams…Wake Forest finished
2-0 in exhibition play with wins over Winston-Salem State and Mars Hill…The
Demon Deacons have been in the AP top 25 for 52 consecutive weeks. The school
record is 54…Visser ended with eight points and six rebounds…Wake
outrebounded MVSU 36-26…Cannon shot 9-of-12 from the floor…The Devils were
9-for-24 from beyond the arc.