WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Wake Forest outscored a cold-shooting, foul-plagued St. Bonaventure team by 23 points in the second half and won going away, 77-62, over the Bonnies Tuesday night before 7,291 at Lawrence Joel Coliseum.
Bona (7-4) led 36-28 at the break and scored the first basket of the second half for a 10-point advantage. Its last lead was 51-50, but then poor free throw shooting, turnovers and lethargic offensive play caught up with the Bonnies.
Two successive treys by Coron Williams, a graduate-school transfer from Robert Morris, gave the Demon Deacons a 58-51 lead and they gradually built the lead from there. Williams was a 42 percent three-point shooter during his career at Robert Morris. He had only eight points Tuesday, but his two threes came at a time Bona was struggling.
Three St. Bonaventure players – Charlon Kloof, Yousou Ndoye and Andell Cumberbatch – finished the game with four fouls as Bona coach Mark Schmidt was forced to shuffle personnel in and out because of the foul difficulty.
“I thought in the first half we played really well and should have been up by 15 points. We didn’t finish the way we usually finish in the first half. We didn’t do anything well in the second half. We didn’t execute. In the second half we didn’t have one guy play well and we missed a ton of foul shots.”
Cumberbatch led the Bonnies with 19 points. He also had seven rebounds and six steals.
Codi Miller-McIntyre led Wake with 20 points. Devin Thomas added 18 and forward Travis McKie added 16.
It didn’t help that Bona made only 7 of 16 free throws (just 4 of 11 in the second half) and turned the ball over 14 times (nine times in the second half). St. Bonaventure shot only 38.5 percent in the second half and had just three field goals in the last 9:00 while being outscored 27-12.
A 10-0 run gave the Bonnies a 16-8 lead early in the game and they were in front the rest of the half. Bona got 17 points off the bench in the first half as Matthew Wright, who did not start, contributed seven of his game total of 9. Wright, the team’s leading scorer, missed Bona’s win at Iona last Saturday with a leg injury.
Wake Forest, perhaps rusty from a 10-day layoff, shot only 35.7 percent (10 for 28) in the first half.
Next for the Bonnies is a Big 4 game at Niagara on Saturday (Time Warner Sports, 5 p.m.). Then it’s three straight home games — Delaware on Dec. 30, Cornell on Jan. 4 and Richmond in the Atlantic 10 opener on Jan. 8.