Cameron Hildreth scored 18 of his 33 points after halftime as host Wake Forest stormed back in the second half for a 101-78 victory over Elon Monday night in the season opener for both teams in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Demon Deacons (1-0) erased a 21-point deficit and outscored Elon (0-1) 86-44 over the final 27-plus minutes.
Andrew Carr added 20 of his 24 in the second half when Wake Forest shot 60 percent. Carr and Hildreth were a combined 14 of 17 from the floor in the second half as Wake Forest outscored Elon by a dominating 58-23 margin in the final 20 minutes.
Transfers Hunter Sallis and Kevin Miller contributed 19 and 17 points, respectively, in their Wake Forest debuts as the veteran duo combined to shoot 14 of 27 from the floor.
Zac Ervin scored 17 points to lead Elon, which was unable to get its first win against a current ACC school since beating Clemson in 2005. Max Mackinnon added 14 while Nick Dorn and TK Simpkins finished with 13 apiece as Elon shot 26.9 percent in the second half and 47.5 percent for the game.
Elon ripped off 11 straight points to take a 22-11 lead on a 3-pointer by Simpkins with 12:28 left. That was part of a 21-2 run that pushed Elon’s margin to 32-13 on a basket by Simpkins with 8:55 to go and the Phoenix opened a 20-point lead on Dorn’s jumper about 3 1/2 minutes later.
Wake Forest ended the half by making 11 of its final 13 baskets and got the deficit down to 55-43 by halftime. Hildreth’s floater with 13:55 left gave Wake Forest its first lead at 61-60 and Miller’s hoop off an Elon turnover capped a 22-4 run that hiked the lead to 74-64 with 8:22 remaining and the Demon Deacons opened an 83-68 margin on Miller’s layup with 5:44 left.
Wake Forest clinched it when Miller hit a 3 for a 91-74 lead with 3:13 remaining.