No. 12 Wake Forest 91, Appalachian St. 50
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) _ Wake Forest got a needed boost when Jerry Braswell made it back to the lineup after an enforced absence this season.
Braswell, a freshman starter on the Demon Deacons’ Atlantic Coast Conference championship team last year, returned from a season-long suspension with 10 points and just one turnover in 16 minutes as No. 12 Wake Forest beat Appalachian State 91-50 Monday night.
Tim Duncan led Wake Forest with 15 points, eight rebounds, six blocks and three assists in 28 minutes. Tony Rutland had 12 points and Ricky Peral 11.
But it was Braswell’s appearance with 13:51 left in the first half that excited Wake Forest fans. The Demon Deacons missed his backcourt experience while he sat out the season’s first five games because of a school-mandated academic suspension.
``I think you can see what he did for us,″ coach Dave Odom said. ``He gives us another dimension.″
Braswell, who met NCAA standards, continued to practice with the team this fall.
``It feels better than sitting over there and watching them play,″ Braswell said. ``It didn’t take long to get comfortable. I think I can do some things for this team.″
Odom said he was glad to have Braswell receive playing time before the Demon Deacons face No. 13 Utah on Thursday.
Wake Forest (5-1) had little trouble with the Mountaineers (2-5), who lost to an ACC team for the 21st straight time.
Trailing 16-13 midway through the first half, Wake Forest led 42-32 at the break.
Wake Forest opened the second half with a 10-2 run to push to a 52-34 lead. Appalachian State never got closer.
The Mountaineers, who scored just 18 points in the second half, were led by Clint Crosston’s 14.
The Mountaineers shot just 37.3 percent from the field, missing 15 of 21 in the second half.
``Our goal is not to try to win the ACC,″ said Appalachian State coach Tom Apke, whose team has lost three games to ACC teams this season. ``Our goal is to win the Southern Conference. In about two or three weeks, we have a chance to be a pretty good Southern Conference team once those conference games start.″