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Wake Forest lives at the FT line, fends off Fairfield

Feb 23, 2022; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons head coach Steve Forbes reacts from the sideline during the second half against the Clemson Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Carr, Cameron Hildreth and Daivien Williams all scored 14 points as Wake Forest churned out enough offense for a 71-59 season-opening victory against visiting Fairfield on Monday night in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Wake Forest withstood scoring droughts to prevail in the start of coach Steve Forbes’ third season in charge. The Demon Deacons shot just 39.1 percent from the field.

Carr, a transfer from Delaware, went 6 for 9 from the field as the rest of the Wake Forest starters combined for 4-for-17. Bobi Klintman had 11 points off the bench.

Bowling Green transfer Caleb Fields led Fairfield with 14 points and teammate Supreme Cook had 13 points. TJ Long chipped in with 11 points.

Wake Forest benefitted from 29 free throws (39 attempts). Williamson was 8 for 10.

The Demon Deacons needed late-game execution to pull this out. That came from Tyree Appleby’s basket for a 60-53 lead and a couple of free throws from Hildreth on the next possession.

Perhaps it will be another season when transfers make big impacts for Wake Forest after Alondes Williams and Jake LaRavia showed the way last season as the Demon Deacons had a breakthrough campaign on the way to a spot in the National Invitation Tournament.

Wake Forest led 32-25 at halftime.

Carr’s layup made it 40-29 before the Demon Deacons went more than 3 1/2 minutes without scoring. Still, the Stags trimmed the lead to only 40-34 before Bobi Klintman’s dunk gave Wake Forest a boost.

That the only Wake Forest field goal during a stretch of nearly seven minutes as Fairfield closed to within 45-40. Zach Keller’s 3-pointer got the Demon Deacons out of that slide.

Brycen Goodine, a former Syracuse and Providence player, scored nine points off the bench in his Fairfield debut.

–Field Level Media