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December 10, 2011NEWARK, N.J. - Seton Hall used a 14-1 run midway through the first half and held Wake Forest at bay in the second to post a 68-54 defeat of the Demon Deacons on Saturday evening at the Prudential Center.
Travis McKie led Wake Forest (6-4) with 17 points and seven rebounds. C.J. Harris joined him in double figures with 12 points. Harris has scored in doubles every game this season.
Tony Chennault scored nine points and had two assists, while Carson Desrosiers finished with eight points.
Ty Walker made his season debut for the Deacons and finished with three rebounds and a block.
Herb Pope, the Big East's leading scorer, turned in a double-double of 26 points and 14 rebounds to pace the Pirates (8-1).
Seton Hall, who moved to 6-0 at the Prudential Center this season, broke a 14-14 tie with its 14-1 run in the first half. The Pirates held the Deacons without a field goal for a stretch of more than six minutes as the host team took control of the contest.
Wake Forest was able to get within seven multiple times in the second half but could never sustain a rally to get any closer.
The Deacons struggled from long distance, making just 2 of 16 3-point attempts for 12.5 percent. Wake shot 39.6 percent (19-of-48) from the field.
Seton Hall finished at 48.9 percent (23-of-47) from the field, including 52.4 percent in the first half.
The Pirates out-rebounded the Deacons, 33-28, and won the turnover battle with seven miscues to 10 for Wake Forest.
After the teams played tight at the onset, Seton Hall gained separation from Wake Forest midway through the first half. With the score knotted at 14-14, the Pirates scored five straight points to spark a 14-1 run over a span of three and a half minutes.
Seton Hall led 28-15 at that point and stretched its first-half lead to 30-16 at the 4:03 mark.
Wake Forest struggled from the floor during Seton Hall's run.
After Tony Chennault made a layup at the 8:40 mark to tie the game at 14-14, the Deacons did not get another bucket until Travis McKie's layup with 2:23 remaining in the half. That basket cut the deficit to 11 at 30-19, and Wake Forest was able to get within 32-22 at halftime.
The Deacons opened the second half with a 7-3 run over the initial three minutes to cut their deficit to 35-29. However, the Pirates cut off the rally right there and never let the visitors get any closer despite Wake cutting Seton Hall's lead to seven on numerous occasions.
Wake Forest lost its third-straight game to Seton Hall in the teams' first meeting since 1989. The Deacons are 2-4 all-time against the Pirates. Wake also dropped to 1-4 in games played in the state of New Jersey.
Wake Forest will be idle for seven days to take fall semester exams.
Once the Deacons take care of their academic duties, the team will return to action on Sunday, Dec. 18, when it hosts in-state rival Gardner-Webb. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum.