ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Olivier Sarr scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, while Torry Johnson added 13 points as Wake Forest held off College of Charleston 65-56 on Thursday in a first-round game of the Wooden Legacy.
Isaiah Mucius and Brandon Childress added 10 points each as the Demon Deacons (4-2) won for the fourth time in their past five games. It was Wake Forest’s first victory in California since winning the 2008 version of the tournament, then known as the 76 Classic.
Zep Jasper scored 13 points and Grant Riller added 11 as Charleston (3-3) lost for the third time in its past four games.
Wake Forest pushed a two-point lead at halftime to 10 points at 43-34 with 14:25 remaining, and the Demon Deacons held on from there, despite shooting just 36% from the field.
Charleston cut its deficit to 56-53 on a 3-pointer by Jasper with 3:29 remaining, before Sarr scored four points in a 7-0 run for Wake Forest to push the lead back to 10 at 63-53 with 1:16 remaining.
Brevin Galloway and Jaylen McManus scored 10 points each for Charleston.
Wake Forest coach Danny Manning became the first person to win the John R. Wooden Award as a player, while also coaching in the Wooden Legacy. Said Manning: “That’s pretty cool. I was fortunate to win that award and to be a part of this event with such a historic figurehead, that’s pretty cool.”
Charleston is now 0-4 against Wake Forest all-time and will face a Providence program that has defeated the Cougars twice in two meetings. Thursday’s game was just the second-ever appearance for Charleston in California after the program also played in the 2013 Wooden Legacy.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons will take on Long Beach State on Friday in the winners’ bracket.
Charleston: The Cougars will take on Providence in the consolation bracket.