Deacons drop basketball opener to Georgia Southern

Junior guard Ike Smith connected on two free throws with 3.6 seconds remaining to set Wake Forest's season off on the wrong foot

Jeremy Brevard—USA Today Sports
Brandon Childress had nine assists in Wake Forest's loss to Georgia Southern on Friday (Jeremy Brevard/USA Today Sports)

WINSTON-SALEM — Junior guard Ike Smith connected on two free throws with 3.6 seconds remaining to lift Georgia Southern to an 85-83 victory over Wake Forest on Friday in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Smith buried a 3-pointer to knot the score at 83 with 2:11 remaining as part of his 18-point outing. Junior guard Tookie Brown scored a team-high 22 points, senior guard Mike Hughes added 18 and junior forward Montae Glenn contributed 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Eagles (1-0).

Junior guard Keyshawn Woods scored 25 points and junior guard Chaundee Brown added 21 for Wake Forest (0-1). Junior guard Bryant Crawford scored 19 points and sophomore point guard Brandon Childress had nine assists, but the Demon Deacons committed 18 turnovers.

Hughes drained two 3-pointers as Georgia Southern opened the second half with an 8-2 run to tie the contest at 48.

The Demon Deacons scored seven of the next nine points to open a five-point lead, but the Eagles remained close and were within one point on two occasions. Georgia Southern finally inched ahead when Hughes drained a 3-pointer for an 80-79 advantage with 2:11 to play.

Wake Forest led by 12 points before the game was seven minutes old. Chaundee Brown’s layup increased the lead to 27-13 with 9:54 left in the half.

Georgia Southern made a strong push and pulled within 31-29 on Tookie Brown’s 3-pointer with 5:53 remaining. But the Demon Deacons answered with a 7-2 run and eventually took a 46-40 lead into the break.