Wake Forest jumped to an early lead thanks to some dead-eye 3-point shooting and went on to a 67-63 college basketball victory Monday against Davidson at Joel Coliseum.
Playing and losing without injured star guard Kellan Grady (knee) for a second consecutive game, the Wildcats dropped to 8-3. The Deacons won their second in a row and improved to 6-3.
Wake Forest led for most of the game, and held a double-digit lead for much of the second half.
The Deacons weren’t able to completely put the Wildcats away, however. Davidson cut Wake Forests lead to 56-51 when Jon Axel Gudmundsson (21 points) hit two free throws with 3:10 left. But Wake Forest responded with a three-point play by Torry Johnson to stretch the lead back to eight. The Wildcats wouldn’t really threaten again.
The story of the first half was Wake Forest’s 3-point shooting. The Deacons made 7-of-10 shots from long range, with Brandon Childress going 3-for-4 and Jaylen Hoard making both of his attempts. In the meantime, Davidson made 4-of-13.
The Deacons took their biggest lead of the half when Childress hit a 3-pointer with 8 minutes, 43 seconds left, making it 27-13. The Wildcats outscored the Deacons 11-6 down the stretch, cutting it to 33-24 at halftime.
Three who mattered
Brandon Childress, Wake Forest: Deacons guard helped his team get off to a blistering start, ended up with 16 points on 3-of-5 3-point shooting.
Luka Brajkovic, Davidson: Wildcats freshman had his full arsenal of inside moves on display, scoring a career-high 19 points. Also had a team-high and career-high 14 rebounds.
Jaylen Hoard, Wake Forest: Scored 16 points for the Deacons on 7-of-12 shooting.
▪ Grady also missed Saturday’s game against Temple. Bursitis in his knee had forced him to miss several practices before the Owls game. Senior forward Nathan Ekwu (knee) also missed his third consecutive game.
▪ Wildcats redshirt freshman Luke Frampton is the Atlantic 10’s rookie of the week. Frampton scored 24 points in a loss against Temple, making 8-of-9 shots. Frampton came out of Monday’s game briefly with what appeared to be an injured right shoulder, but it didn’t seem serious.
▪ The Deacons have five nonconference games against teams from North Carolina on their schedule this season: Davidson, Charlotte, N.C. A&T, Western Carolina and Gardner-Webb.
▪ Davidson plays again Saturday against Central Penn at Belk Arena. The Knights are members of the small-college U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association. The Deacons are at No. 3 Tennessee on Saturday.
David Scott: @davidscott14 on Twitter