WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Eric Williams scored 17 points and Trent Strickland added 13 as fifth-ranked Wake Forest shook off a sluggish first half and pasted North Carolina A&T, 91-67.
Having not played since a triple-overtime triumph at North Carolina on December 20, Wake Forest (8-0) looked very rusty early and led just 47-40 at the half. But the Demon Deacons started the second half by scoring 25 of the first 26 points and the game quickly became a rout.
"You can think of a myriad of excuses," said Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser, trying to explain his team's poor start. "I don't think we took bad shots but we need to get back in the gym and work on it and we'll get better."
"A&T came out with fire and we weren't expecting it," Williams said. "We haven't felt the passion of the game for a while and to see that they weren't scared took us by surprise."
Forward Chris Ellis, the son of former NBA star Dale Ellis, made his debut for Wake Forest. Returning from a broken bone in his right foot suffered in the Demon Deacons' first practice on October 18, Ellis was scoreless in 12 minutes.
"It was Chris' first public display and he'll only get better," Prosser added.
Wake Forest ran its home winning streak to 21 and plays its next three games here. The 21-game run is four shy of the school record, set from 1995-97.
Freshman Sean Booker led North Carolina A&T (0-8) with 21 points and Chris Ferguson added 11. The Aggies, who were held without a basket for the first 10 minutes of the second half, committed 27 turnovers.
The Aggies open the season with 11 of their first 12 games on the road and have yet to lose by less than 19 in any contest.
"We're continuing to get better," North Carolina A&T coach Jerry Eaves said. "We only scored 39 points in our first game and we're slowly inching our way up. Hopefully, in four or five years we'll be able to come in here with a higher level of athletes."
Williams and Taron Downey had four points apiece as Wake Forest scored the first 12 points of the second half. After a free throw by Greg Roberts, Justin Gray hit two free throws to ignite a 13-0 spurt that Gray capped with a jumper with 10:17 to go.