WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- A year ago, Boston College rallied from an 0-3 start in the Atlantic Coast Conference to reach the championship game in its first season in the league.
In year two, the Eagles get to enjoy the view from the top right away.
Jared Dudley had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Eagles, who saw a 23-point lead whittled to five with just under 2 minutes left. But Boston College (11-4, 3-0) then hit 8-of-10 free throws to get its fourth straight win and stay tied with Clemson atop the conference.
"I'm not pounding my chest. I've seen teams in this league be 5-0 and 6-0 and not finish at the top of this league," Eagles coach Al Skinner said. "This is just a start."
Boston College dominated early, repeatedly beating Wake Forest in transition. The Eagles looked nothing like the team that lost early season games to Vermont and Duquesne as they won for the 10th time in 12 games.
"If we didn't lose those games we'd be sitting pretty good right now," said Marshall, who hit 9-of-16 shots and 8-of-11 free throws and scored 20 or more points for the fourth time in five games. "We have to continue to win games and show people we're a better team than that. Starting off winning these two games in North Carolina is a great accomplishment."
Michael Drum scored a career-high 21 points and Kyle Visser had 20 points for the Demon Deacons (9-6, 1-2), but Visser got into early foul trouble and didn't get his second field goal until Boston College had already built a 20-point first-half lead.
Boston native Anthony Gurley scored 13 for Wake Forest, which was outscored 22-0 early in the game and had its two-game winning streak snapped.
The Eagles were too strong, too big and too experienced for the youthful Demon Deacons, who start three freshmen and a sophomore.
Boston College targeted Wake Forest freshman point guard Ishmael Smith, who struggled against Tyrese Rice and the Eagles' half-court press. Smith committed four of the Demon Deacons' eight turnovers in 13 possessions during the 22-0 run that put Boston College ahead 23-5.
"It's a familiar theme -- we turn the ball over early, and we don't find Visser enough early," Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said. "To their credit, teams are taking Visser away, but we haven't shown the patience necessary to force things a little bit. It takes courage to throw the ball inside."
Visser and L.D. Williams each committed two fouls during the spurt trying to defend Dudley down low. Dudley, who came in as the ACC's second-leading scorer and top rebounder, hit 8-of-10 free throws in the first half as the Eagles built as much as a 23-point lead.
"You have to withstand the little run they had, which we did," Dudley said. "We made free throws at the end of the day and we're 3-0, unlike last year. It looks a lot better."
Wake Forest, which has rallied from double-digit deficits to win four times this season, including Saturday in Miami, got back into it late. Gurley was fouled making a layup with 1:54 left to cut the lead to 83-78. But Gurley missed the free throw and the Demon Deacons got no closer.
"It's definitely hard to come back from a deficit like that," said Gurley, whose college choice came down to Wake Forest and Boston College. "The last two ACC games we've played, we've been down big early and that's not so easy to come back from, especially against a great team like BC."
Smith, who came in leading the ACC in assists, had six turnovers in the first half for Wake Forest, which fell to 0-6 all-time against Boston College.
"I don't want to denigrate what we did in the last 10 minutes -- our guys fought, and the crowd was trying," Prosser said. "We're not going to give up on this team, but we've got to figure out a way to change the starts of these games."
Boston College played without forward Shamari Spears, who was suspended one game for an unspecified violation of team rules.
With a trio a top recruits from Philadelphia, the Penn State basketball program is primed to finally turn a corner.
Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, considered a lock to leave the program before struggling in the second half last season, has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return for his junior season.
Louisville's Chinanu Onuaku, who recently underwent a medical procedure to correct a heart rhythm issue detected during the combine, will keep his name in the NBA draft pool.