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Wake batters Bucknell to remain perfect

Dec 7, 2008 - 4:14 AM WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Wake Forest rolled to its eighth straight victory, crushing Bucknell, 81-52, on Saturday.

Wake broke open the game early, using an 11-0 run to move in front 25-10. The Demon Deacons are 8-0, their best start since a Chris Paul-led team went 11-0 in 2003-04.

"I told our guys that this was a nice win for us," Demon Deacons coach Dino Gaudio said. "We're 8-0 going into exams, which is exactly where we want to be.

"We really emphasized in what time we had after the Indiana game in cutting down on our turnovers. We did a terrific job of that tonight with 11."

Jeff Teague scored 11 of his 26 points in the first half as the 17th-ranked Demon Deacons surged to a 36-22 advantage. Teague was 9-of-14 from the field.

"To be honest with you, he hadn't played well the last three games," Gaudio said. "UTEP he scored a lot of points, but Pat Kelsey brought him in defensively and watched film with him. The Baylor game he was 1-for-10 with six turnovers. He had six turnovers against Indiana, so in two games he has 12 turnovers.

"I told him that I have tremendously high expectations for you and I know you do as well. He played pretty well tonight. He was really solid."

For his part, Teague felt more in control.

"I just slowed it down today," he said. "One of our assistants, Tony Hanson, and I talked about the turnover situation and I looked at some of my turnovers and I was jumping in the air trying to making passes and things like that. He just told me to calm down and let it come, and tonight, I did pretty well defending the ball."

Bucknell (1-6) drew within 36-26 on a jumper by Bryan Cohen in the second half, but Wake Forest went on a 7-0 run that featured five points by L.D. Williams to put the game out of reach.

"I'm just being more aggressive going to the hole," Williams said. "Last year, I felt like I shot the three a little too much."

Williams added 13 points for Demon Deacons, who shot 27 foul shots to Bucknell's 9. Wake hit 16 free throws to four for Bucknell.

Darryl Shazier led the Bison with 12 points.

"I thought going into the game that Wake is a really good team and they demonstrated that," Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen said. "I was very impressed with them on tape and very impressed tonight. The thing that is probably overlooked is how good they are defensively."

Bucknell has not beaten an ACC team since 1961. The Bison were also beaten by Maryland, another ACC school, earlier this season. Coincidentally, both the Maryland and Wake Forest losses were by the same score.

Paulsen knew his team had a long journey home to ponder its lesson.

"A long bus ride back," Paulsen said when asked about what his team faced. "Number one it's a great venue to play in and you want to play against the best. We try to focus on ourselves and not the opponent, to play against the game and the standard of excellence. When we did what we were supposed to do we had a reasonable level of success.

"We were playing against bigger, faster, stronger guys and we wore down physically. Wake has certainly demonstrated that they are one of the elite teams in the country."