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Wake returns to winning ways against Belmont, 69-49

Wake Forest pulls away from Belmont in the second half to run their record to 5-4 on the season.

Chelsea Douglas in action against Belmont
Chelsea Douglas in action against Belmont
Dana Warren

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.- Chelsea Douglas scored 27 points and Dearica Hamby added 16 to lead the Wake Forest Demon Deacons over visiting Belmont 69-49 Tuesday night at Joel Coliseum. After dropping two straight games last week during the Nugget Classic in Reno, NV the Deacs used  a second half surge powered by their defense to subdue a game Bruin team.

"I think we finally buckled down and defended a little bit, and got some rebounds," Douglas said. "We got to take off and run, do what we do best."

Wake Forest (5-4) clung tightly to a 31-28 halftime lead, after an opening period marked by turnovers and foul trouble. Fouling continues to be an issue for Coach Jen Hoover's team, as her young squad adjusts to the added emphasis on contact in college basketball. The Deacs were whistled for 22 fouls on the evening, compared to just 15 for the visitors from Nashville.

"I think that's the biggest thing we're trying to teach them and make them understand," Hoover said. "When we foul, we stop our flow. We don't allow ourselves to get out and run. We have to stop that. I think they were in the bonus with 14 minutes to go. We can't do that. We've got to be able to play defense with our feet."

While Wake Forest struggled to overcome the foul and turnover woes, they received a welcome spark from senior Lindsy Wright, who came within one field goal of a double-double and provided a healthy dose of energy during her 17 minutes of playing time. More remarkable was that she was able to contribute without fouling, something she has struggled with her entire career.

"I thought she was big for us tonight," Hoover said. "Zero fouls, no turnovers. I thought she gave us a boost in the first half, I thought she gave us really solid minutes in the second half. I think she's faced some adversity and she's working her way through it. I'm really proud of her and proud of her coming out tonight and being able to put those two halves together for us."

"It was good to finally play and just get in a rhythm," Wright said. "I think we're all just playing better, we're playing hard. Sometimes too hard because we're fouling a lot, but I think we're all playing really hard so it's fun to come in and just play."