WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Jaylen Hoard scored a career-high 23 points and tied his career best with 15 rebounds for his third double-double of his freshman season and Wake Forest beat Cornell 83-61 on Wednesday night to close out its nonconference schedule.
Hoard scored eight points in a 13-0 run in the final minutes of the first half as Wake Forest (7-5) took control and led 37-22 at halftime.
Demon Deacons coach Danny Manning called the freshman’s performance “terrific.”
“He’s athletic and skilled, and it’s a challenge for teams that don’t have the athletes that they have,” Cornell coach Brian Earl said. “He was a big part of it. They were doing some good stuff. A lot of the stuff we have to fix, he pointed it out to us.”
The Demon Deacons scored the first seven points of the second half and won going away after outrebounding the Big Red 50-25. Brandon Childress scored 14 points and Chaundee Brown added 12.
“I thought we did some good things in certain categories,” Manning said. “This was the best in terms of numbers-wise, that we’ve rebounded the basketball. That gave us the chance to get some second-chance points.”
Matt Morgan scored 22 points, Jake Kuhn had 12 and Jimmy Boeheim 11 for Cornell (6-8).
Wake Forest: Their opposition may have been overmatched, but the Demon Deacons were dramatically better than their last time out — Saturday’s 73-69 loss to Gardner-Webb. With Atlantic Coast Conference play looming, they will have to sustain a higher level than they ever managed during their nonconference schedule.
Cornell: The Big Red’s streak of futility against ACC opposition was extended to 34 consecutive games. Cornell previously lost 63-55 at Syracuse on Dec. 1. The program’s last win over an ACC foe came over Wake Forest in 1951.
HOARDING THE OFFENSE
Hoard has attempted fewer than 10 shots from the field in only three games. But all three of those came within Wake Forest’s last four outings, including the loss to Gardner-Webb, which saw Hoard attempt a season-low six shots.
That trend was markedly reversed on Wednesday, as Hoard had 10 attempts by halftime and finished with a career-high 15. But the freshman said that was merely a byproduct of his assertiveness in other areas.
“I put emphasis on rebounding and defending today, and offense came after that because I was engaged and aggressive,” Hoard said.
THEY SAID IT
Manning, on whether his young team knows what it is about to face in ACC play: “No. How could you? You know what I mean? You haven’t been there. You don’t know what it’s like to be married until you’re married. Living together is different. Right? But we talk about it, and the guys who have been here talk about their experiences, too. It will be trial by fire.”
Earl, on his team’s frustrating night: “We lost embarrassingly. I don’t expect us to lose that way. I don’t care that we’re an Ivy League team and they’re an ACC team.”
SONS OF FAMOUS FATHERS
Cornell’s Boeheim, the son of Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, is a regular contributor for the Big Red. But Wake Forest’s Anthony Bilas, son of former Duke player and ESPN analyst Jay Bilas, had not scored in his career until Wednesday.
Bilas made his only shot from the field in the waning moments of the game, setting off a wild celebration from his teammates on the bench.
“From a standpoint of everybody getting a chance to play, that’s always nice,” Manning said. “Our walk-on guys, the guys at the end of the bench do a really good job of working hard in practice and coming in with a great attitude day in and day out. So that’s always nice to see.”
Wake Forest: Opens its ACC schedule at Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Cornell: Hosts Division III Johnson & Wales on Friday.