Tuesday , Feb , 28 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Eagles can clinch ACC Tourney bye against Demon Deacons

(Sports Network) – With the ACC’s regular season winding to a close, the
12th-ranked Boston College Eagles will attempt to avoid an upset tonight as
they host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. While Wake Forest’s mediocre 14-14
overall record is disappointing, the team’s 2-12 league mark is downright
embarrassing. The Demons Deacons haven’t won a road game in over two months
and are aiming to avoid their first winless ACC road season since 1987-88.
The program hasn’t had a losing season since 1989-90, but that streak is in
serious jeopardy as well. On Saturday, Wake dropped a 76-61 decision to a
Georgia Tech team that has also struggled this season.

As for Boston College, it would clinch a first-round bye in the upcoming
ACC Tournament with a win tonight. The Eagles have won six of their last
seven games to move to 22-6 overall and 9-5 in conference action, and
they are coming off a 74-72 double-overtime victory over NC State on
Saturday. They are 12-2 at home entering tonight’s clash and are obviously
favored.

Boston College owns a 4-0 lead in the all-time series with Wake Forest,
including a 72-66 victory over the Demon Deacons three weeks ago.

Overall this season, Wake Forest is scoring 73.5 ppg while surrendering 71.7
ppg to opponents. In conference games alone, however, the team is giving up
78.9 ppg to overshadow its own 72.4 ppg. There isn’t a lack of standout
performers in the lineup for the Deacons, as Justin Gray and Eric Williams are
proven players. Gray is currently averaging 18.7 ppg overall and 20.7 ppg in
league play, but he is shooting below 38 percent from the floor. Eric Williams
is a force in the middle, as he is averaging 16.4 ppg and 8.8 rpg while
shooting 61.7 percent from the floor. The third and final double-digit scorer
for the Deacons is Trent Strickland, as he checks in with 12.5 ppg.

In the rather lopsided loss to Georgia Tech last time out, Williams
racked up 24 points and 15 rebounds to lead all players in both categories.
Gray pitched in 16 points, but his 5-of-18 effort from the floor was far from
impressive. Wake connected on only 35.0 percent of its field goal attempts and
surrendered 52.1 percent shooting to Georgia Tech.

Like Wake Forest, Boston College has three double-digit scorers in its lineup.
Craig Smith is tops with 16.9 ppg on 57 percent shooting from the floor, and
he is also pulling down 8.7 rpg. Jared Dudley isn’t far behind in the scoring
department, as he adds 16.1 ppg to go along with 6.9 rpg and 91 assists.
Rounding out the trio is Sean Marshall with 12.2 ppg. The Eagles are averaging
74.1 ppg while surrendering 65.8 ppg to opponents.

In the thrilling victory over NC State, Smith racked up 18 points, 14
rebounds and six assists. Dudley checked in with 12 points and 11 boards
for the Eagles, who earned a 46-34 rebounding advantage and limited the
Wolfpack to 39.7 percent shooting from the field. Although the outcome was
positive, Boston College can’t be happy with its 13-of-24 effort from the foul
line.

BOSTONCOLL WAKEFOREST