WINSTON-SALEM – Ryan Anderson scored 24 points to help Boston College beat Wake Forest, 80-72, on Saturday.
Olivier Hanlan added 17 points for the Eagles (8-21, 4-12 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won for just the second time in the span of a month.
B.C. had stunned then-No. 1 Syracuse on the road on Feb. 19 but lost its other seven games in February, including the past two at Miami and at home to Pittsburgh. But B.C. earned its third road win this year, shaking free of its season-long struggles to hand the Demon Deacons (15-14, 5-11) the kind of home loss that won’t help fourth-year coach Jeff Bzdelik’s fading standing with the fan base.
Boston College came into the game as the ACC’s worst rebounding team, but dominated the boards, including 13-2 on the offensive glass, and knocked down plenty of free throws to stay in control after halftime.
Devin Thomas scored 18 points for the Demon Deacons, who shot 47 percent but couldn’t recorded enough defensive stops nor keep the Boston College off the glass consistently to earn a win.
B.C. led, 30-24, at halftime before Wake Forest made a push to tie the game at 35 on the way to a 42-40 lead on two free throws from Tyler Cavanaugh with 13:51 remaining.
But Patrick Heckmann answered with a three-pointer, Wake Forest freshman Miles Overton airballed his own then Lonnie Jackson followed with one in transition that put B.C. back up, 46-42, with 13:08 remaining in the game.
The Eagles didn’t trail again, scoring on 14 of 16 possessions from the 35-all tie and hitting 27 of 34 free throws after halftime to stay in control.
Wake Forest appeared ready for a breakthrough season under Bzdelik after beating in-state rivals North Carolina and N.C. State in January.
But a home loss to Syracuse started a run of seven straight losses that drained every bit of the early season momentum, including last weekend’s 105-72 loss to the Tar Heels.
The Demon Deacons regrouped to beat Clemson, 62-57, Tuesday night but followed that with Saturday’s clunker.
By the time the final seconds were ticking off, several students were yelling “Buzz out!” – a slogan Bzdelik’s critics have used in pushing for the coach to be fired.