Center Olivier Sarr scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds off the bench as Wake Forest defeated College of Charleston 65-56 on Thursday in the opening round of the Wooden Legacy in Anaheim, Calif.
The Demon Deacons (4-2) had to overcome 35.8 percent shooting from the field.
Torry Johnson produced 13 points, and Isaiah Mucius and Brandon Childress both had 10 points for Wake Forest, which collected 13 offensive rebounds.
The Demon Deacons move on to the semifinals Friday against Long Beach State, a 66-65 winner against Providence in the site’s first game of the day. College of Charleston (3-3) will meet Providence in the consolation round.
Zep Jasper’s 13 points led the Cougars, who shot 38.2 percent from the floor. Grant Riller chipped in 11 points while Jaylen McManus and Brevin Galloway both had 10 points.
Jasper’s 3-point basket with 3:29 to play closed the gap to 56-53, but the Cougars never got closer.
Wake Forest’s last seven points came on free throws. College of Charleston was hurt by 7-for-14 free-throw shooting for the game.
Sarr was in the starting lineup at the beginning of the season, but he has been more productive coming off the bench. He shot 4-for-6 from the field and went 6-for-8 on free throws Thursday.
The Demon Deacons received a total of 26 points from their reserves while College of Charleston backups combined for just seven points.
The Demon Deacons received limited production from Chaundee Brown, who had been their most consistent player across the first few games before missing a Nov. 22 victory against Davidson with an injury. He played in a reserve role Thursday, scoring five points and shooting 1-for-9 form the field.
Wake Forest, which led 28-26 at halftime, improved to 4-0 all-time against College of Charleston.
The Demon Deacons’ only other victory on Thanksgiving in five all-time games came in 2008 in a contest also played in Anaheim.
—Field Level Media