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Furman Basketball Falls At Wake Forest, 79-55

Stephen Croone
Stephen Croone

Winston-Salem, N.C. – C.J. Harris scored a game-high 20 points to lead three Demon Deacons in double figures as Wake Forest pulled away from Furman in the second half to claim a 79-55 non-conference victory before a crowd of 6,782 on Tuesday night at Joel Coliseum.

The Demon Deacons shot 60% from the field in the second half and converted on 53.8% of their field goal attempts on the night to improve to 5-5 on the season.  Furman dropped to 3-7 with its fifth loss in its last six games.

Bryant Irwin's three-pointer with 2:28 remaining in the first half put Furman in front 30-27, but Harris, who scored 16 of his 20 points in the opening period, answered by draining a trey for Wake Forest that ignited a 10-0 run to end the half.  Tyler Cavanaugh capped the spurt with a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Demon Deacons a 37-30 lead at the break.

Furman trimmed the margin to five points on two occasions in the opening moments of the second half and trailed just 42-36 on Kendrec Ferrara's layup with 17:04 to play, but Cavanaugh scored seven straight points in a 60 second stretch to key a 17-2 Wake Forest run that gave the Demon Deacons a 59-38 lead when Devin Thomas finished a three-point play at the foul line with 11:24 to play.  The Demon Deacons, who outscored Furman 42-16 in the paint and 14-2 on the fast break, maintained at least a 17-point cushion the rest of the way to secure the victory.

Harris converted on 8-of-10 field goal attempts, including 4-of-6 beyond the arc, and added five assists to lead Wake Forest.  Travis McKie scored 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting while Cavanaugh finished with 12 points.

Freshman Stephen Croone and senior Colin Reddick paced the Paladins with 12 points apiece while Ferrara added nine points, six boards and two blocked shots.  Furman shot just 36.5% from the floor, including 7-for-24 beyond the arc, and made only 10-of-19 free throw attempts.

The Paladins raced out to a 15-9 first half lead behind a pair of three-pointers from Charlie Reddick, but Furman went without a field goal for over six minutes as Wake Forest regained the lead.  David Brown and Irwin each notched treys to help put Furman back ahead before the Demon Deacons' decisive 10-0 run to end the half.

The Paladins face their final test before Christmas on Saturday when they travel to Jacksonville, Fla., to face the Jacksonville Dolphins.  Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m.

The game will be aired live on 103.3 WOLT-FM and 96.3 WGOG-FM.  Dan Scott will provide play-by-play with former Paladin guard Ron Smith handling color commentator duties.

Fans can follow live statistics of the game by logging onto www.FurmanPaladins.com.