BOSTON (AP) — Ian Dubose returned for his first game since November and scored 17 points on Wednesday night as Wake Forest wasted most of a 14-point lead before holding on to beat Boston College 69-65.
“I’m a competitor. When you get an opportunity to compete, you’ve got to give it all you have,” said Dubose, who transferred from Houston Baptist but lasted just two games into the season before he was injured.
“I’m new to the program,” he said. “It was good for me to sit back and say, ‘Oh, I see it now.’”
Ody Oguama added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Demon Deacons, muscling his way for a layup after BC cut the deficit to one point with less than three minutes to play. BC had one possession with a chance to take the lead, and two more in a three-point game but missed seven straight shots before a meaningless 3-pointer in the last 2 seconds.
Isaiah Mucius had 10 points and eight rebounds for Wake Forest (6-8, 3-8 Atlantic Coast Conference). The Demon Deacons have won three of their last five games since snapping a six-game losing streak to open the conference season.
Jay Heath scored 20 and CJ Felder had 17 points and 14 rebounds for Boston College (3-12, 1-8). Rich Kelly added 13 points for the Eagles, who have lost six of their even games since Christmas, with five others postponed because of COVID-19 protocols.
Wake Forest led 61-47 with six minutes left before BC ran off 10 straight points. The Eagles cut it to one, 63-62, when Heath made a 3-pointer with under three minutes to play. But Oguama went strong for a layup, then after a couple of BC misses added a free throw.
Dubose averaged 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists as a junior for Houston Baptist last year before transferring. He played in the first two games of the season before going out with an undisclosed injury on Thanksgiving weekend.
“I saw how they competed every single night. I just knew I wanted to be out there,” said Dubose, who picked up meditation to kill time when he couldn’t play. “It was definitely different. I don’t think I had a break like that since middle school.”
BC shot under 33% for the game. The Eagles missed their first seven shots of the game, and their last four of the first half. In between, the Eagles had a cold spell where they made just one basket over a five-minute span.
“For us to win, we’ve got to make shots,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “You can’t shoot 33% in the ACC and expect to win the game.”
But they stayed in the game because Wake was only a tiny bit better, making just one basket in 10 tries over more than six minutes. Kelly made a 3-pointer with 4:46 left to tie it 20-all, but the Demon Deacons scored 10 of the last 12 points in the half to take a 30-22 lead.
Boston College dressed six scholarship players for the game, mostly because of COVID-19 protocols. Makai Ashton-Langford returned after missing a month with a knee injury, but the Eagles were without Luka Kraljevic (knee).
“I keep asking during the game: Who needs a blow? Are you good?” Christian said. “They’re playing through fatigue at a really high level. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Wake Forest: at No. 17 Florida State on Saturday.
BC: at Syracuse on Saturday.