In whatever-it-takes mode already, it didn’t matter how many times Brandon Childress’ turnaround jumper bounced on the rim.

One, two, three …

“I was nervous because it hit a little too much rim,” Wake Forest’s senior point guard said.

It mattered that Childress’ jumper dropped — eventually — and Wake Forest survived its home opener with a 65-63 win against Columbia on Sunday, scoring the final six points and erasing the Lions’ four-point lead in the final minute.

“I mean, as a kid you always practice shots in different situations,” said Childress, who made the shot with 1.2 seconds left. “You know, three-two-one going down, and I practice that shot a lot. … Coach (Danny Manning) called a play, got the ball in my hands, cleared out to make sure we had the last shot, left my hand, it felt pretty good, hit a lot of rim and went in.”

Indeed, Childress’ shot hit the rim three times — he said he lost count of how many bounces. Chaundee Brown guessed it was two or three, Coach Jim Engles of Columbia said eight and Manning said it felt like 100 bounces.

It all mattered little to Wake Forest (1-1), which had something to celebrate after dropping an uninspired opener at Boston College on Wednesday night.

“We wanted to show the fans that we improved and have gotten better despite the Boston College game,” said Brown, who had 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting and nine rebounds. “We came out flat. I felt like this game we also came out flat too, but offensively we weren’t hitting shots. Defensively we were kinda doing OK.

“And then the second half, we picked it up and were hitting shots, and were getting stops.”

Wake Forest led by as much as eight in the second half, but Columbia didn’t go away — responding with a 9-0 run after the Deacons led 52-44.

After Jake Killingsworth’s 3-pointer with 4:39 left in that spurt pulled the Lions within one, the teams were never separated by more than four points for the rest of the game.

First it was Columbia (0-2) taking a four-point lead, at 63-59 on Mike Smith’s free throws with 51 seconds left. Smith had a game-high 23 points and seven assists.

That was the last time the Lions crossed halfcourt.

Brown notched a three-point play on the ensuing possession, and Childress drew an offensive foul under Columbia’s basket on the in-bound play afterward. Childress missed a mid-range jumper but Brown snagged an offensive rebound, and after a timeout Brown was fouled.

He made the first, missed the second, but a deflection kept the ball on that end of the floor with 15.8 seconds left.

Another timeout allowed the Deacons to set up the final play, which was Childress’ turnaround jumper that clanged around and found the bottom of the net.

“I think our guys didn’t panic down the stretch. With 51 seconds we were down and there was no panic in their eyes,” Manning said. “We work on situations and they were able to take those situations that we work on in practice and apply those to the game and find a way.”

Neither team did much to advance the game of basketball in the first half — offensively, at least. Wake Forest and Columbia combined to miss 14 straight shots early in the first half, and wound up shooting a combined 19-for-61, with eight turnovers apiece in the first 20 minutes.

The Deacons held a 26-25 halftime lead as the teams traded buckets for the final two minutes, the last of which was a baby hook by Olivier Sarr.

“We’re not going to apologize for winning. Obviously for us, we have to get off to better starts offensively,” Manning said. “It’s two games in a row now where we’ve settled for long jump shots or settling for jump shots as opposed to attacking the paint.

“That takes away from our aggressiveness when we just settle for those shots.”

Brown provided a spark with seven straight points in a four-minute span, four of which came on smooth turnaround jumpers from each side of the low post. But he picked up his second foul 14 seconds after scoring his seventh point and was relegated to the bench for the last 3½ minutes of the first half.

Wake Forest again deployed a deep rotation, going 12 deep before the under-4 timeout of the first half. That strategy seems likely to continue, as a lineup with freshmen Jahcobi Neath, Ismael Massoud and Ody Oguama all on the court was effective for a stretch of the first half.

WAKE FOREST 65 COLUMBIA 63

FG FT Reb

COLUMBIA M M-A M-A O-T A PF PT

Brumant 25 3-8 1-2 1-5 0 5 7

Nweke 16 2-4 0-0 0-3 0 4 4

Bibbs 17 2-6 0-0 0-2 1 0 5

Killingswrth 38 3-11 0-0 0-11 2 4 8

Smith 37 8-17 6-7 0-4 8 1 23

Forrest 25 2-6 0-0 0-3 0 4 5

S.-Okeke 23 4-8 0-0 1-3 0 3 9

Smoyer 15 1-4 0-0 1-6 0 2 2

Bolster 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 200 25-64 7-9 3-37 11 24 63

Percentages: FG .391, FT .778. 3-Point Goals: 6-28, .214 (Killingsworth 2-9, Bibbs 1-3, Forrest 1-3, Shockley-Okeke 1-5, Smith 1-5, Smoyer 0-1, Brumant 0-2). Team Rebounds: 1. Team Turnovers: 9 (14 PTS). Blocked Shots: 6 (Brumant 4, Forrest, Smoyer). Turnovers: 9 (Forrest 3, Killingsworth 2, Bibbs, Brumant, Nweke, Smith). Steals: 6 (Brumant 2, Shockley-Okeke 2, Forrest, Smith).

FG FT Reb

WFU M M-A M-A O-T A PF PT

Mucius 16 0-5 0-0 2-3 0 2 0

Sarr 19 2-7 3-4 2-3 0 1 7

Brown 32 6-10 8-11 3-8 0 2 20

Childress 31 5-15 1-4 1-6 2 3 11

White 22 3-10 0-1 1-7 1 1 7

Wright 23 1-8 1-1 0-3 1 1 3

Neath 19 2-3 2-2 0-1 3 3 6

Oguama 17 2-3 2-2 1-7 0 2 6

Johnson 10 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 1 0

Massoud 4 1-1 1-2 0-0 0 0 4

Wynn 4 0-0 1-3 0-2 0 0 1

Okeke -- 0-0 0-0 0-3 0 0 0

Totals 200 22-63 19-30 10-44 7 16 65

Percentages: FG .349, FT .633. 3-Point Goals: 2-12, .167 (Massoud 1-1, White 1-4, Brown 0-1, Childress 0-1, Sarr 0-1, Mucius 0-2, Wright 0-2). Team Rebounds: 5. Team Turnovers: 12 (8 PTS). Blocked Shots: 1 (Oguama). Turnovers: 12 (Childress 5, Neath 3, White 2, Mucius, Sarr). Steals: 3 (Childress, Neath, White).

Columbia 25 38 — 63

Wake Forest 26 39 — 65

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