WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Six Wake Forest players scored in double figures led by C.J. Harris' 19 points as the Demon Deacons took down Radford 79-67 in their season opener Friday at Joel Coliseum.
The Deacons (1-0) shot 63.6 percent (28-of-44) from the floor - the 14th-best shooting mark in school history and the best since shooting 64.2 percent in a win over Georgia Tech in the 2007 ACC Tournament - to vanquish the Highlanders (0-1) who went only 37.9 percent from the field.
"This was a hard fought game obviously and we expected that," said head coach Jeff Bzdelik. "To shoot the percentage that we did, to have six players in double digits, to have some really good efforts from some of our younger players was good. We will build on that and move forward."
Wake Forest took control of the game towards the end of the first half, going into the locker room with a 44-35 lead, and held off a late Highlander challenge by finishing the game on a 9-0 run to seal the victory.
Joining Harris in double figures were Travis McKie, who came up a rebound short of a double-double with 11 points and nine boards, and Chase Fischer, who poured in all 11 of his points in the first half. Harris went 11-for-14 from the free throw line to help the Deacons put the game away late.
Freshmen Codi Miller-McIntyre, Devin Thomas and Arnaud William Adala Moto all tallied 10 points in their first college game. Thomas added eight rebounds and two assists, and Miller-McIntyre grabbed four boards and dished out three helpers.
Wake Forest started three freshmen from its seven-player rookie class - Miller-McIntyre, Thomas and Tyler Cavanaugh - and they made their mark from the start, combining to score the first nine points of the game.
After a Radford briefly retook the lead, Adala Moto scored six straight points to put Wake Forest in front 24-19. Overall, the Demon Deacons made 11 of their first 13 field goals to start the game.
Wake Forest went on a 9-0 run down the stretch of the first half, and Devin Thomas tipped in a rebound as the buzzer sounded to send the Deacons into the locker room with a 44-35 lead.
The Deacons stretched their lead to as many as 11 points in the second half, but the Highlanders refused to go away.
The Highlanders pulled within three points with 5:32 left, but a Harris free throw and McKie layup extended the lead back to six at 66-60. After a Radford free throw, Harris connected twice from the charity strip to make the score 68-61 with less than four minutes remaining.
Radford made one last run at it, cutting the lead to 70-67 at the 1:53 mark, but the Deacons responded immediately as Madison Jones nailed a jumper and Travis McKie slashed for a layup to make the lead seven points with under a minute left.
Wake Forest will next head to the Caribbean, traveling to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam. The Deacons will take on Connecticut on Nov. 16 before playing two more games to close out the tournament.