Thornton Shines in BC Debut as Eagles Top Wake Forest in Opener
11/7/2019 By Avi-Carr Gloth
Playing in his first game with the program, Derryck Thornton scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Boston College Eagles to a 77-70 win in their season opener against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Thornton, a graduate transfer from USC and Duke, shot 7 of 14 from the floor including a pair of three-pointers, as well as 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Senior forward Nik Popovic, added 19 points along with 3 rebounds while freshman Jay Heath had a solid all-around game with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in his collegiate debut.
“My supporting cast on this team is helping me be the leader,” said Thornton. “I’ve still got a long way to go. It’s my first game back playing in [the ACC] a little while.”
The only thing that seemed to slow down Thornton was when the bottom of his shoe ripped while dribbling near halfcourt with 7:49 in the first half.
“Yeah, I was surprised,” he said. “I thought it was something with my foot. It didn’t hurt. I looked down and saw the show was messed up. I told the ref: ‘My shoe’s messed up.”
Senior guard Brandon Childress led the Demon Deacons with 24 points and 7 assists while sophomore forward Isaiah Mucius added 18 points with 14 of those points coming in the first half.
Wake Forest turned the ball over 17 times resulted in 18 points off turnovers for Boston College while the Demon Deacons scored only two points off 7 Eagles turnovers.
“They put us in some tough situations as far as taking care of the basketball,” Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said. “The points that they were able to score off our turnovers was a huge difference for us. We also have to do a better job on transition defense.”
Boston College had multiple big runs in the first half that gave them a 42-27 halftime lead.
The Eagles went on a 20-3 run over 6:57 of the first half in which they shot 6 of 8 from the floor including threes from Popovic, Jared Hamilton, and CJ Felder. After Wake Forest cut the lead to 31-23 late in the first half off a Mucius jumper, Heath responded with a three to start a 10-0 run for the Eagles.
“We talked about it all preseason that we’ve got to create offense from defense,” Boston College coach Jim Christian said. “I think in the first half we did a good job with that.”
Wake Forest outscored BC in the second half 43-35, but could never get a lead in the second half.
Wake Forest’s next game is their home opener on Sunday against Columbia, while BC heads south to play at USF on Sunday.