Dallas Walton scored 17 points as Wake Forest topped Towson 74-64 on Wednesday in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament at Winston-Salem, N.C.
It’s the first postseason victory for the second-seeded Demon Deacons (24-9) since 2010, when they beat Texas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Towson (25-9) was making its first appearance in the NIT.
Despite fouling out with less than two minutes to play, Isaiah Mucius also scored in double digits for Wake Forest, tallying 12 points and two blocks. Damari Monsanto added 14 points.
The Tigers were led by Charles Thompson’s 15 points and eight boards. Nicolas Timberlake had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Jason Gibson also had 12 points.
Wake Forest, which led wire to wire, broke off separate surges of 7-2 and 11-4 early in the first half to take a comfortable 18-9 lead. The Demon Deacons really pulled away near the end of the first half with a 15-4 run, giving them a 21-point advantage at intermission. Walton had five points and two boards during that stretch.
The Demon Deacons led by as many as 23 points in the second half. Towson broke off a 12-0 run but never trimmed the deficit to a single digits after intermission.
Wake Forest was able to win handily without much scoring from the ACC Player of the Year, Alondes Williams. He finished with just six points on 2-of-5 shooting, but he did add five assists and six rebounds in 32 minutes of action.
The Demon Deacons turned the ball over 18 times but made up for their miscues by shooting effectively. Wake Forest hit 49 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3-point range, though the Demon Deacons knocked down only 19 of 29 free throws.
Towson made just 34.8 percent from the floor, 28.6 percent from long distance and 10 of 16 from the foul line.
Wake Forest moves on to face third-seeded VCU this weekend.
–Field Level Media