Scores

Final

Wake Forest 65

(14-15, 2-13 ACC)

(12) Boston College 80

(23-6, 10-5 ACC)

    7:00 PM ET, February 28, 2006

    Silvio Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

    1 2 T
    WAKE 29 3665
    #12BC 34 4680

    Top Performers

    Wake Forest: T. Strickland 15 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

    Boston College: C. Smith 23 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    No. 12 BC downs Wake, clinches first-round ACC bye

    BOSTON (AP) -- Boston College will get a day off as a reward for salvaging its inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference season.

    "I think it's a tremendous accomplishment, considering how we started. There was a little bit of concern about that," coach Al Skinner said after BC, which started 0-3 in its new conference, beat Wake Forest 80-65 on Tuesday night to clinch a bye in the first round of its first ACC tournament.

    "The guys never hung their heads and they're in a good place now."

    Craig Smith had 23 points and eight rebounds and Jared Dudley scored 22 for the 12th-ranked Eagles (23-6, 10-5 ACC). Smith, who hurt his left shoulder running into a pick, iced it after the game but said he expected to be OK for the regular-season finale.

    BC, which defected from the Big East over the summer, could improve its position even more on Saturday: A victory over Virginia Tech in the regular-season finale could help the Eagles avoid top-ranked Duke until the conference championship game.

    It's quite a turnaround for the team that called not one, but two team meetings to snap out of an early slump. The first one was players only; in the second, Skinner let them know what he thought of comments by victorious North Carolina State players that the Eagles had given up.

    "He had some things to say because we weren't playing up to our potential," senior Louis Hinnant said. "This meeting, he was really animated. Me and Craig, we've been here the longest. Neither one of us has seen him like that.

    "We both took it personally," Hinnant said. "We wanted to go out with a bang. We wanted to turn it around, and we did a pretty good job."

    BC won seven of its last eight and 12 of its last 14 to clinch a spot in the conference's top four. That means the Eagles would only have to win three games for a conference title.

    "It increases our chances of succeeding," Skinner said. "To play four straight days against this level of competition and expect to win, I think, is impossible. To do it three straight days is tough."

    Trent Strickland scored 15 for Wake Forest (14-15, 2-13), which went 0-8 on the road in the conference. The Demon Deacons clinched last place in the ACC with the loss.

    BC was coming off a 74-72, double overtime victory over North Carolina State. This one wasn't quite as challenging.

    Wake Forest managed to open a 19-11 lead over BC before the Eagles scored 10 consecutive points -- seven by Dudley. Of the last 23 points scored by BC in the first half, Dudley and Smith had 17.

    "We don't have anyone who can cover them," Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said.

    Dudley went 10-for-10 from the free throw line. He scored 16 in the first half, when BC opened a 34-29 lead.

    Prosser went berserk after a second-half foul call and threw off his suit coat, drawing a stern look from the referee. With about nine minutes left, Prosser drew a technical; by that time, BC led 61-46.

    But Prosser was able to smile afterward when asked about shaking up his lineup.

    "Acts of a desperate man," he said.

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    WAKE
    BC
    Points 65 80
    FG Made-Attempted 22-48 (.458) 23-51 (.451)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-14 (.357) 6-10 (.600)
    FT Made-Attempted 16-23 (.696) 28-35 (.800)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 8 16

    2005-06 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    Feb 8, 2006 BC 72, @WAKE 66Recap
    » Feb 28, 2006 @BC 80, WAKE 65Recap