Brandon Childress scored 18 points and Olivier Sarr added 16 as Wake Forest advanced to the championship game of the Wooden Legacy tournament with an 88-75 victory over Long Beach State on Friday afternoon at Anaheim Arena.
Chaundee Brown scored 13 and Andrien White added 12 as the Demon Deacons (5-2) moved on to Sunday’s championship game, in which they will face Arizona, which defeated Penn 92-82 in the other semifinal Friday night.
Michael Carter III had 18 points and nine assists and Chance Hunter added 17 points for the Beach (4-4), who will play in the tournament’s third-place game against Penn on Sunday.
After shooting just 36% from the field in an opening-round victory over College of Charleston on Thursday, Wake Forest shot 43.5% on Friday. The Demon Deacons had a 43-27 rebounding advantage and showed their depth with a 36-9 advantage in bench points, with six players scoring in double figures.
Wake Forest opened a 14-point lead with 10:34 remaining on a free throw from Michael Wynn and then weathered an 0-for-10 stretch from the field midway through the second half by scoring 11 consecutive points at the free-throw line.
Wake Forest was 0 for 10 from three-point range in the second half but went 20 for 21 from the free-throw line after halftime and 24 for 35 in the game.
The Demon Deacons took a 38-31 lead into halftime after White hit a running shot from half court at the buzzer.
Central Florida 78, Pepperdine 65: Ceasar DeJesus had a career-high 21 points as the Knights defeated the Waves in the Wooden Legacy.
DeJesus made eight of 10 shots, and Darin Green Jr. had 16 points for Central Florida (4-2). Dazon Ingram added 14 points and eight rebounds.
Kessler Edwards had 21 points for Pepperdine (3-5), which has lost four straight and was coming off a 93-91 loss to Arizona on Friday night. Kameron Edwards added 12 points, and Skylar Chavez had 10.
Central Florida plays NJIT at home next Saturday. Pepperdine faces visiting Idaho State next Friday.
at UC Riverside 69, Southern Illinois Edwardsville 51: Dragan Elkaz had 11 points off the bench to help the Highlanders (6-2) defeat the Cougars (2-6) in the College Hoops Roadshow.
Khyber Kabellis had 11 points and six assists for UC Riverside, which won its fourth consecutive game. Zyon Pullin added seven assists.
Iziah James had 14 points for Southern Illinois Edwardsville, which saw its losing streak reach four games.
UC Riverside plays at California Baptist on Wednesday. Southern Illinois Edwardsville plays Chicago State at home on Wednesday.
Denver 65, Cal State Fullerton 62: Ade Murkey scored 11 of his 17 points after halftime as the Pioneers rallied to edge the Titans in the second game of the Cable Car Classic in Santa Clara.
Robert Jones added 16 points for Denver (3-4), which trailed by 13 midway through the second half. Murkey took a Fullerton turnover into the lane and was fouled, converting the three-point play and cutting the gap to 62-61 with 1:22 remaining.
After a missed three-point try and another turnover by Fullerton, Denver’s Jones and Joseph Lanzi made four free throws in the last 24.6 seconds.
Austen Awosika led the Titans (3-4) with 18 points, and Davon Clare added 12 points and six assists. Wayne Arnold had 11 points and six rebounds. Fullerton went the final 9:15 without a field goal and the last two minutes without a point.
Denver matches up against Southeast Missouri on Saturday. Cal State Fullerton will face Santa Clara Saturday.
at UC Santa Barbara 67, Grambling 58: JaQuori McLaughlin scored 20 points and had six rebounds, while Matthew Freeman added 12 points and Seke Toure nine rebounds to lift the Gauchos (4-3) over the Tigers (3-4).
USC women lose to Nebraska
Nebraska broke open a tie game after three quarters with a 15-2 fourth quarter to down USC 67-54 in the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas.
The Trojans shot 0 for 9 from the field in the fourth quarter and 33% for the game. Freshman Angel Jackson led the Trojans (3-3) with a career-high 13 points and was the only USC player in double figures. Leigha Brown had 16 points for the Cornuskers, who improved to 6-1.
at No. 24 Arizona 70, UC Riverside 27: Aari McDonald scored 11 of her 14 points in first half, and the Wildcats (7-0) beat the Highlanders (2-6) in Tucson. Jannon Otto scored nine points for UC Riverside.