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November 20, 2011Winston-Salem, N.C. - NC Central (1-3) claimed an eight-rebound edge and fought to a 35-35 halftime score that put Wake Forest (3-0) on the ropes, but the Demon Deacons shot an overwhelming 60.6-percent from the field in the second half on their way to a 93-79 win.
Wake received a major lift from behind the arc, as it shot an impressive 12-17.
"It's embarrassing," NC Central head coach LeVelle Moton said. "We embarrassed ourselves, our university for a team to shoot 58-percent on us. I've never seen nothing like that in my life. No disrespect to Wake Forest, but if we played the Lakers they shouldn't score 93 points on us."
Going into the game Dominique Sutton was pacing the Eagles with a team-high 20.7 points per game. Nikita Mescheriakov had the lion's share of the responsibility to defend the Kansas State-transfer.
Sutton finished with a hard-earned 14 points after scoring only two in the first half.
"He's trying to face up, and go one-on-one every time, so what we did when he caught it we just doubled him," Mescheriakov said. "I felt that we did a great job as a team. I felt we played really well on offense. Good defense creates good offense."
Mescheriakov complimented his strong defensive effort with a career-high of 15 points, 11 of which came in the first half to keep the Deacs in the game.
"I'm really proud of Nikita," Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "He really rose to the occasion tonight in terms of defending without fouling. That's not a knock on him, but with his background and where he comes from, the games are officiated a little bit differently. He's had to change a lot of his habits in many ways."
Travis McKie also netted a career-high, scoring 25 points, and C.J. Harris finished with 22 points after only scoring four in the first half. Tony Chennault added 14 points, and Chase Fischer chipped in 10 points off the bench to give Wake Forest five players in double figures for the first time this season.
This was Chennault's second double-digit scoring-performance in a row. The sophomore point guard also dished out six assists to only two turnovers, and also recorded two steals.
"We tend to forget about Tony Chennault," Bzdelik said. "He is beginning to understand decisions as a point guard."
Continuing with the theme of Wake's impressive offensive statistics efficiency was an integral part to the Demon Deacons success, as they scored on 26 of their 39 second-half possessions.
"We took good shots - shots we've practiced; open shots," Bzdelik said. "We practice those kinds of shots. Of course, offense is a variable, and sometimes you can get open shots and not make them, but when you're taking shots you practice that are open because we're moving the basketball, there's a better chance of it going in."