Wake Forest extends home winning streak with win over NC State, 83-79 

Winston-Salem, NC – Behind a career performance from junior guard Hunter Sallis and a raucous Deacon Nation crowd of 12,571 at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Wake Forest extended its 13-game home winning streak with a massive win over Big-4 rival NC State, 83-79, during Saturday afternoon (Feb. 10).

photo by Gene Galin

The Demon Deacons (16-7, 8-4 ACC) were led by a career-high from junior guard Hunter Sallis as he poured in 31 points and extended his streak of 23 games with double digit points. Sallis, who went 12-of-17 from the field including an impressive 6-of-7 in the first half, added his eighth 20-point or more performance of the season to go along with six rebounds, two assists and two steals.

The Deacons did an impressive job of stopping the Wolfpack (15-9, 7-6 ACC) down the stretch, holding NC State without a point during the final 1:57 minutes. On the offensive end, the team connected on four of their last five shots in the game, finishing the second half 16-of-30 from the field (53.3 pct.).

The 12,571 in attendance on Saturday afternoon was the largest home crowd of the season and the second-largest crowd in the Steve Forbes era. Deacon Nation has made a difference all season long as the 13-game winning streak and 13-0 mark at LJVM Coliseum is the seventh-longest home win streak in program history and the longest since winning 16 consecutive games during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

Wake Forest now holds an impressive 44-5 record at home since the start of the 2021-22 season. The 44 wins are the most in the ACC and the second-most in the country during that period, trailing just Houston, who has 45 wins during the last three seasons.

Andrew Carr contributed 15 points, including a go-ahead shot in the paint with under a minute to play. The senior forward additionally led Wake Forest in rebounds, snagging seven.

Redshirt sophomore guard Kevin Miller and junior guard Cameron Hildreth ended with 10 points apiece, with the former dishing out six assists. Efton Reid III added nine points and five rebounds.

The Deacs did well at the free-throw line, making 17-of-21 attempts (81.0 percent). Overall this season, the Demon Deacons lead the ACC and rank third in the nation with a 80.2 free throw percentage.

Big-4 action continues for Wake Forest through the weekend, as the Deacs head to Durham for a Monday evening (Feb. 12) test at No. 9 Duke. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game will air on ESPN.

How It Happened

  • Reid got the Deacs on the board first with a back-down, turn-around hook shot with his off hand for the 2-0 lead in the opening minute. 
  • Sallis got inside two possessions later for a jumper and the 4-4 tie.
    • On the next play, Miller found Carr under the basket for a slam. 
  • Sallis hit the first three of the game from the left wing for the 9-6 Wake Forest lead 
  • The Wake Forest defense caused three NC State turnovers in a row and held the Wolfpack scoreless for over two minutes. 
  • After a short State run, Sallis hit two free throws to make it 13-11, Wolfpack. 
  • Friedrichsen hit his first three of the game on the next possession to take the one-point lead.
  • Another three from Friedrichsen gave Wake its largest lead of the game, 17-13.
    • The Deacs’ defense held State without a field goal for over four minutes. 
  • Out of the timeout, Carr ended a State run with a slam from Miller.
  • On the next possession, Sallis hit his second three for the 22-21 lead.
    • Wake scored on the third-straight possession when Reid hit a jumper from the middle of the lane. 
  • Reid ended another State run with another jumper from the paint.
    • He went on to hit two free throws to cut the Wolfpack lead, 37-29.
  • Sallis took it coast-to-coast for the layup to make it 38-31.
    • On the next possession he converted the and-one to make it 41-34 with 1:35 to play in the half. 
    • For the third straight-possession, Sallis scored for the Deacs, this time a three from the wing to make it 41-37.
  • Two free throws from Miller kept it at four, 43-39.
  • Wake Forest went into the locker room down six, 45-39.
  • Carr started the second half with an and-one conversion to cut it to three. 
  • The Deacs went on a 6-0 run with points from Hildreth, Sallis and Miller to tie it at 48 then another bucket from Miller made it 51-50 Wolfpack and forced a timeout for NC State. 
  • Two free throws from Hildreth gave Wake its first lead of the second half, 52-51.
    • Another free throw from Reid tied it at 53 with 13:13 left to play.
  • On the next possession Miller drove it in to keep it tied at 55.
  • Sallis hit one two plays later to keep it tied at 57.
  • A corner three from Carr off a dime from Miller gave Wake the 60-59 lead.
  • On the next possession, Hildreth converted the and-one and Wake forest took the four-point lead with 10:03 to play. 
  • Sallis hit his fourth three of the game, this one from the right wing, and Wake took the 66-62 lead
    • Sallis followed it up with a driving layup for the 68-62 lead.
  • Two free throws from Miller kept Wake up, 70-66.
  • A three-pointer from Carr on the right wing put Wake back in front, 73-72, with 5:40 to play.
  • A steal and layup from Hildreth gave the Deacs the 75-73 lead with under four minutes to go.
    • The Wake defense held State without a basket for three minutes.
  • Out of the timeout Hildreth found Sallis on the baseline for the alley oop.
    • On the next play Sallis again put Wake up by two with a baseline drive and a layup. 
  • NC State called a timeout with 57 seconds to go, game tied at 79 and State ball.
  • Carr hit a hook shot off a sideline out of bounds for the two-point lead, 81-79, with 18 seconds to go.
  • After an NC State timeout, the Deacs forced a miss before Sallis grabbed the rebound and got fouled.
    • He went 2-for-2 from the line and extended the lead to four with just under two seconds to go in the contest.
  • Wake Forest closed out the 83-79 victory over NC State.

Stats of the Game

  • Saturday’s home crowd of 12,571 marked the second-highest attendance at a Wake Forest home game in the Steve Forbes era:
    • Rank Opponent Attendance Date
    • 1. Duke 14,213 Jan. 12, 2022
    • 2. NC State 12,571 Feb. 10, 2024
    • 3. Virginia 12,443 Jan. 21, 2023
    • 4. North Carolina 11,898 Jan. 22, 2022
    • 5. Syracuse 11,412 Feb. 3, 2024
    • 6. North Carolina 11,318 Feb. 7, 2023
    • 7. NC State 11,092 Jan. 28, 2023
    • 8. Duke 10,812 Dec. 20, 2022
  • Wake Forest now holds an impressive 44-5 record at home since the start of the 2021-22 season including a perfect 13-0 mark at home. The Demon Deacons overall wins since the start of the 2021-22 season rank second in the country and leads the ACC during that time frame:
    • Rank Team Home Wins Winning Percentage
    • 1 Houston 45 .938
    • T2 Wake Forest 44 .898
    • T2 Arizona 44 .957
    • T2 Texas 44 .846
    • T3 Saint Mary’s 43 .896
    • T3 Kansas 43 .956
    • T3 Providence 43 .896
    • T3 UAB 43 .860
    • T9 Kentucky 42 .840
    • T9 Auburn 42 .955
    • T9 Duke 42 .894
    • T9 Gonzaga 42 .933
    • T9 UConn 42 .913
    • It marks the most home wins by an ACC team since 2021 and the best winning percentage (.898).
      • Home wins since start of 2021-22:
        • Wake Forest – 44
        • Duke – 42
        • Virginia – 39
        • North Carolina – 37
        • Miami – 37
      • The Deacs have won 13 consecutive home games for the first time since 2013-14. It is tied for the ninth-longest home winning streak in program history:
        • Longest Home Win Streaks in Program History
          • Rank Games Dates
          • 1. 25 Jan. 29, 1995 – Jan. 15, 1997 
          • 2. 24 March 2, 2002 – Jan. 20, 2004 
          • 3. 21 Nov. 15, 2004 – Dec. 13, 2005 
          • 4. 16 Feb. 6, 2007 – Jan. 29, 2008 
          • 5. 14 Feb. 27, 2000 – Jan. 31, 2001 
          • T7. 13 March 10, 2013 – Jan. 25, 2014 
          • T7. 13 Nov. 6, 2023 – Present
          • T7. 13 Jan. 28, 2001 – Jan. 6, 2002 
          • T7. 13 Nov. 28, 1977 – Dec. 8, 1978 
          • T10. 12 Feb. 2, 1994 – Jan. 21, 1995 
          • T11. 11 Jan. 31, 1999 – Dec. 17, 1999 
          • T11. 11 Jan. 17, 1984 – Dec. 8, 1984
  • Hunter Sallis continued his streak of 23 consecutive games to open his Wake Forest career with double-digit scoring, as the junior added a career-high 33 points on an efficient 12-of-17 from the floor (4-of-6 from three). He also notched six rebounds, two steals and two assists.
    • He entered the contest fifth in the ACC in scoring and is now averaging a team-high 18.5 points per game.
    • It marked his 11th 20-point performance of the season and fifth time in ACC play.
    • Additionally, it was tied for the most points by a Demon Deacon in a game this season (Cameron Hildreth vs. Elon) and tied for the fourth-most in the Forbes era.
      • Top-10 Scoring Games in the Forbes Era
      • Rank Player Date Opponent Points Scored
      • 1 Alondes Williams Dec. 14, 2021 VMI 36
      • 2 Tyree Appleby Feb. 7, 2023 UNC 35
      • 3 Alondes Williams Dec. 17, 2021 Charlotte 34
      • T4 Hunter Sallis Feb. 10, 2024 NC State 33
      • T4 Cameron Hildreth Nov. 6, 2023 Elon 33
      • T6 Tyree Appleby Nov. 29, 2022 Wisconsin 32
      • T6 Alondes Williams Nov. 12, 2021 Western Car. 32
      • T8 Jake LaRavia Jan. 22, 2022 North Carolina 31
      • T8 Ismael Massoud Jan. 23, 2021 Pitt 31
      • T10 Andrew Carr Jan. 16, 2024 NC State 28
      • T10 Damari Monsanto Feb. 04, 2023 Notre Dame 28
      • T10 Daivien Williamson March 2, 2022 NC State 28

Key Moment

  • With the game tied at 79-79 with less than 30 seconds to go, Wake Forest had possession. After Coach Forbes called a timeout, the Deacs went to Andrew Carr, who caught the pass from Efton Reid III on the left block and worked his way into the restricted area – hitting a hook shot to give Wake Forest the two-point lead, 81-79, with 18 seconds to go.
    • The Deacs got a stop on the next possession and Hunter Sallis iced the game at the line with a pair of free throws, extending the lead to four points with 1.7 seconds remaining in the game.

Coach’s Comments
“That was a great college basketball game. A great ACC Tobacco Road game, in-state game. That’s how it’s supposed to be. It’s what we envisioned when we came here to Wake Forest. I gotta give a lot of credit to NC State. Kevin Keatts and his team played a great college basketball game. The first half looked a lot more like their practice than ours. They sped us up, turned us over, got it out in transition and got a lead. Diarra was the difference in the first half, he had a big game but thought he was a big difference in the first half and why they had the lead on the offensive glass and making shots, getting out in transition. Horne had a good first half, Hunter did too so they canceled each other out a little bit. 

In the second half we just had better shots. Our shot quality was a lot better. We didn’t turn it over and we got stops. I don’t think they scored in the last 1:57 of the game. The biggest play of the game wasn’t anything that Hunter did on offense, it was the defensive rebound he got to ice the game. He went 12 feet up in the air to get it. The second half wasn’t about X’s and O’s, it was about being competitive and just having some fight in a hard-fought, in-state rivalry ACC game. We made enough plays to win it. That’s it. It’s nothing fancy. It was really nice to see us executing things out of the timeout, the lob play, the side play when everybody thought we were going to Hunter and we went to Andrew. Then Andrew made a heck of a play to score that ball. 

We have a lot of balance on our team and we proved that today. We shot ourselves in the foot a little bit, missed the front end of some one-and-ones and we’re a pretty good free-throw shooting team, but if you think about the last game that we lost, they shot 33 free throws and today they shot 11. Last time we had 17 turnovers and today we had eight. It was still a close game but it’s more of what we would want on our terms.” – head coach Steve Forbes

Up Next

Big Four action continues for Wake Forest through the weekend, as the Deacs head to Durham for a Monday evening (Feb. 12) test at No. 9 Duke. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game will air on ESPN.