WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Devin Thomas scored 23 points and Wake Forest managed to overcome a stern test from Colgate to win its season-opener 89-78 on Friday night.
Thomas added six rebounds and Codi Miller-McIntyre finished with 21 points for the Demon Deacons.
Colgate kept pace for the first 30 minutes and led by as many as eight points in the early stages of the second half before Miller-McIntyre took control.
The sophomore guard scored 14 consecutive Demon Deacons points, while the team's defense held the Raiders without a field goal for more than five minutes. Miller-McIntyre punctuated a 19-4 run for Wake Forest with a pair of free throws to give his team a 62-55 lead it would not relinquish.
Pat Moore led Colgate with 17 points.
The Raiders looked set to become the first Patriot League team to beat Wake Forest since 1971, making nine 3-pointers in the first half and another two shots from behind the arc in the opening moments of the second half.
But the Demon Deacons were able to effectively defend the perimeter after withstanding that initial torrent. Colgate made only three 3-pointers in the final 18 minutes.
Meanwhile, Wake Forest continued to assert its dominance in the interior with 74 points scored in the paint or at the free throw line.
It was enough to avoid what would have been a disastrous loss in the first game of Jeff Bzdelik's fourth season as head coach of the Demon Deacons.
Reggie Witherspoon, who spent more than 13 seasons coaching at Buffalo, is returning to the city to coach Canisius College.
North Carolina Hall of Fame men's basketball coach Roy Williams is recovering from knee-replacement surgery.
Sparkling facilities are one thing, but Tim Miles needs to regain the momentum of Nebraska's 2014 run to the NCAAs if it is to play with the big boys.