16-0 game-ending run propels Wake Forest basketball to 20th win

Raleigh, NC – The Wake Forest mens’ basketball team defeated NC State 69-51 on Wednesday evening inside PNC Arena to clinch the program’s first 20-win season since 2009-10.

photo by Gene Galin

The Demon Deacons’ (20-5, 10-4 ACC) posted their seventh ACC victory of at least 15 points thanks to a 16-0 run over the final five minutes and 19 seconds of the contest. During that span, the Deacs held NC State to 0-of-5 shooting and forced four turnovers.

Wake Forest put together strong showings on both ends of the floor, as the team ended the night shooting 54 percent from the field (27-of-50) while holding NC State to just 32.2 percent from the field (19-of-59) and 13.6 percent from downtown (3-of-22), the Wolfpack’s worst mark of the season.

The Demon Deacons ended the final five minutes of the contest on a 16-0 run during which the defense held NC State to 0-of-5 shooting and forced four turnovers.

Alondes Williams led an offensive effort that saw four players finish in double figures, finishing with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go along with six assists and a team-high nine rebounds.

Williams found his groove after the halftime intermission, pouring in 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and two triples.

Khadim Sy and Isaiah Mucius followed close behind with 13 points apiece on a combined 10-of-16 shooting from the field and 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. With four triples tonight, Mucius has moved into a three-way tie for the 24th-most single-season three-pointers in program history, at 55.

Daivien Williamson rounded out the group of double-digit scorers, with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, five of which came during the team’s 16-0 run to close the contest.

Despite finishing with six points, Jake LaRavia impacted the game in a number of ways with a team-high eight assists, seven rebounds, and two steals.

How It Happened

●       Wake Forest jumped out to an early 8-2 lead three minutes into the contest after an 8-0 run featuring a layup from Dallas Walton and a pair of made triples from Isaiah Mucius.

●       Mucius drained his third three-pointer to take a 19-16 lead with 10:14 remaining in the first half.

●       Walton connected on his first trey, extending the Deacs’ lead to seven (27–20) with just under six minutes left until halftime.

●       Wake Forest entered the intermission with a 31-28 lead over NC State.

○       Walton and Mucius led the Deacs’ offensive effort with nine points apiece. The team shot 12-of-23 (52.2 percent) from the floor and held the Wolfpack to just 11-of-36 (30.6 percent) shooting.

●       Alondes Williams knocked down his first shot from downtown, giving Wake Forest a 35-30 lead three minutes into the second half.

●       Daivien Williamson rolled in a pair of layups to extend the Deacs’ lead to nine (41-32) with 14:19 left to play.

●       Williams drilled his second triple to end a 9-2 NC State run and regain a 48-45 lead with 8:42 remaining in the final half.

●       Mucius extended the lead to four (53-49) with his fourth triple with 5:34 left in regulation.

●       Following a pair of makes from the stripe by NC State, the Demon Deacons went on an 16-0 run that saw their lead balloon from just two (53-51) to 18 (69-51) with 38 seconds left in the contest.

●       Wake Forest defeated NC State, 69-51.

WFU basketball coach speaks with game official.
(photo by Gene Galin)

Key Moment

Despite never trailing in the second half, Wake Forest had not built a comfortable lead over the Wolfpack for most of the final period. After NC State narrowed the Deacs’ lead to two points (53-51) with 5:19 remaining, Daivien Williamson changed things by draining a triple and scoring a layup to open up a 16-0 run to close the game.

Five Demon Deacons scored during the run while the defense held the Wolfpack to 0-of-5 shooting and forced four turnovers on the other end to secure the team’s 20th victory of the season for the first time since 2010.

Stat of the Game

●       With the win, Wake Forest is the first ACC team to reach 20 overall and 10 conference wins this season

○       This season marks the first time the Deacs have reached 20 wins since the 2009-10 season (20-11) and 10 conference wins since the 2008-09 season (11-5)

●       The Demon Deacons’ (20-5, 10-4 ACC) posted their seventh ACC victory of at least 15 points thanks to a 16-0 run over the final five minutes and 19 seconds of the contest.

○       During that span, the Deacs held NC State to 0-of-5 shooting and forced four turnovers.

Coach’s Comments

“We had a very impressive 16-0 run to end the game, which is obviously what won the game for us. We did it by getting stops on the defensive end and making timely shots. We created a number of leads in both halves, but could not extend them to pull away and that is a credit to NC State and how difficult they are to defend off the dribble.

“During the 16-0 run, we finally locked in defensively on their ball screens. Dallas and Khadim did a great job of communicating, and Alondes did a great job of keeping them away from the basket. That defense allowed the opportunity for everyone to hit a big shot on the other end. Jake didn’t have a great night scoring the ball, but he still almost had a triple-double again thanks to how much he impacts the game in other areas. It was a really good road win for us. I’m proud of my team for getting to 20 wins and I’m happy for our fans, community and institution. Respect is a hard thing to gain back once you lose it, and we are starting to regain the respect that Wake Forest once had in this league.”- head coach Steve Forbes

Team Highlights

● With the win, Wake Forest has reached 20 overall wins for first time since the 2009-10 season (20-11) and 10 conference wins since the 2008-09 season (11-5). Additionally, the Demon Deacons became the first ACC team to reach 20 overall and 10 conference wins this season.

● The 69-51 win marks the Demon Deacons’ first win in PNC Arena since Jan. 21, 2017.

● The 18-point victory marked Wake Forest’s seventh ACC win of at least 15 points, the most in the ACC this season and the most 15+ point ACC wins by Wake Forest in the regular season, ever.

○ 80-61, at Virginia Tech

○ 76-54, Florida State

○ 80-64, at Georgia Tech

○ 98-76, North Carolina

○ 87-57, Boston College

○ 91-75, Pittsburgh

○ 69-51, at NC State

  • After holding Florida State to 32.8 percent shooting on Saturday, Wake Forest held NC State to 32.2 percent shooting on Wednesday.
  • The Demon Deacons have now held nine of their 14 ACC opponents to below 40-percent shooting from the field.
  • Additionally, the team held NC State to a season-low 13.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Up Next

Following Wednesday’s action, Wake Forest will return to Winston-Salem on Saturday, February 12 for their rematch with Miami.

Tipoff in Lawrence Joel Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum is set for 3 p.m. and the game will air live on Bally Sports South and other regional sports networks.