ACC Basketball: Boston College 84, Wake Forest 68
BOSTON óBoston College coasted to a victory over Wake Forest on Sunday and quickly put the game behind to focus on its upcoming opponent in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament: Wake Forest, again.
ěThe games are going to be totally different,î BC coach Steve Donahue said after the Eagles beat Wake Forest 84-68 in the regular-season finale. ěDonít expect it to be as easy.î
Corey Raji scored 21 points and Biko Paris had 19 as the Eagles tried to bolster their case for an NCAA tournament berth. BC (19-11, 9-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) finished fifth in the ACC, earning a first-round matchup with the Demon Deacons (8-23, 1-15) in Greensboro, N.C. on Thursday.
ěIt kind of reminds me of the NBA when we were in playoffs,î said Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik, who was head coach of the Denver Nuggets for 21/2 seasons. ěListen: I expect to win. Every time you take the court, I expect to win. If you think that (I donít), youíre disrespecting me.î
Joe Trapani scored 17 and Reggie Jackson had 14 points for BC, which won its last three games and could reach the 20-win mark with a win in the first round of the conference tournament.
ěWe believe we have a chance ó everybody in the locker room ó to win it. And we have a chance to make the NCAA tournament,î said Jackson, who acknowledged it is a different mood than last year, when BC had no chance for an at-large berth in the NCAAs and thought: ěIf you donít win the (conference) tournament, what exactly are you playing for?î
Travis McKie scored 21 points and Gary Clark added 14 for Wake Forest, which lost its last 10 games ó all but one of them by at least 14 points ó to finish 12th in the 12-team conference.
ěItís definitely been a tough year,î Clark said. ěNobody expects to be last. Itís definitely been a trying year.î
Wake led 21-15 with 14 minutes left in the first half before Boston College scored 18 of the next 20 points to take a 10-point lead. It was 44-33 after Wakeís Carson Desrosiers made a three-point play to open the second half, then the Eagles scored 17 of the next 19 points.
BC returned to a winning record in the first season under former Cornell coach Steve Donahue. He replaced Al Skinner, who was fired after the Eagles missed the NCAA tournament.