WINSTON-SALEM — C.J. Harris remembers the last time Wake Forest won back-to-back games in the ACC.
None of his teammates were around then, so Saturday’s 75-72 victory against Boston College was a milestone for the young and still-improving Deacons.
Harris scored a career-high 29 points and Travis McKie added 18 for Wake Forest (9-6, 2-1), which last had a winning conference record during the closing days of the 2009-2010 season.
“Winning is really all that matters,” said Harris, who was a freshman when the Deacons had their last ACC winning streak.
“For us to fight hard and get this one is really big.
“We’re showing a lot of improvement. The young guys are growing up pretty fast, and the veteran guys are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. The past two years have been tough. We want to start winning games.”
And Wake Forest is developing a pattern during its two-game winning streak – take a big lead, then fight off a late rally.
“I used the term ’resilient’ against Virginia, and that term applies once again,” Deacons coach Jeff Bzdelik said.
Wake Forest needed such resiliency against the Eagles (9-7, 1-2), opening the first half by going more than 5 1/2 minutes without a field goal, allowing Boston College to take a 10-point lead.
But Harris kick-started the Deacons all by his lonesome, scoring 11 consecutive points and setting a pattern for the rest of the half – the Eagles would build a lead, only to see Wake Forest get back into contention.
Harris finished with 19 points in the first half, including a layup with seven seconds remaining that put the Deacons ahead 38-36 at the break.
Wake Forest would go on to lead by as many as 12 points midway through the second half, going up 60-48 with 9:29 left on Arnaud William Adala Moto’s layup.
The Deacons were still up by 10 points with five minutes left when Boston College began its rally.
The Eagles pulled within one point twice in the final two minutes, the last at 73-72 on Joe Rahon’s two free throws with 1:28 remaining.
But he missed a heavily contested layup that would have put Boston College ahead, and Harris hit a pair of free throws with 4.2 seconds left.