Brandon Childress scored 20 points as host Wake Forest blew a big lead and then recovered to defeat Western Carolina 71-64 on Tuesday night in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Western Carolina came back from an 18-point hole to take a brief second-half lead.
Jaylen Hoard had 17 points and Chaundee Brown added 14 for Wake Forest (4-2), which was coming off an overtime home loss to Houston Baptist on Friday.
Matt Halvorsen scored 13 of his 19 points in the first half for Western Carolina (2-6). His 3-pointer gave the Catamounts a 46-45 lead with less than 13 minutes to play.
The Demon Deacons built a 59-50 lead before the Catamounts hit consecutive 3-pointers.
Two free throws from Western Carolina’s Carlos Dotson tied the game at 61. Then Childress made only one of three free throws when he was fouled launching a 3-pointer, but Halvorsen’s two foul shots gave the Catamounts a 63-62 edge with 1:10 to play.
Hoard and Isaiah Mucius scored baskets within a six-second span for Wake Forest, the latter coming off Hoard’s missed free throw. Those were Mucius’ only points of the game.
Halvorsen made one free throw at the 27-second mark to pull within 66-64 before Wake Forest clinched it.
Dotson added 14 points for Western Carolina, while Marc Gosselin and Onno Steger both scored 10 points. The Catamounts, who didn’t have a field goal in the final three minutes, were 16-for-32 on free throws overall.
Wake Forest stormed to a 21-3 lead before the Catamounts found their footing.
Wake Forest led 33-31 at halftime, aided by Western Carolina’s 10 turnovers. The Catamounts scored the last seven points of the first half, with Halvorsen tallying the final four.
Western Carolina is coached by Mark Prosser, son of the late Skip Prosser, who was Wake Forest’s coach at the time of his death.
It was the first meeting between the teams.
—Field Level Media