Wake Forest was finally back at home after 2 tough losses on the road to Clemson and Florida State, and this one was too close for comfort. The Deacs eventually took the lead in the first half, and held it for most of the remaining time. Down the stretch, the Hokies retook the lead and this one started to look like a repeat of the last two games. Fortunately, the execution and free throw shooting late in the game for Wake Forest was much improved from the previous two games, and the Deacs were able to hold and win their second conference game of the season.
On offense for Wake Forest, junior guard Codi Miller-McIntyre continued to be aggressive and drive the lane.
When Codi is in attack mode in transition or in the half court, he is definitely at his best. He's one of the best in the country at finishing at the rim and has a really nice euro-step that can avoid defenders from drawing charges. Codi finished with a game high 19 points, shooting a perfect 7-7 from the field.
Another notable on the offensive side of the ball was freshman forward Dinos Mitoglou. Dinos was placed in the starting lineup for this one, replacing Darius Leonard, and he took advantage of the opportunity.
Dinos finished the game with 15 points on 5-11 shooting, including 3-7 from the three point line. Most of his points came from making shots off of great passes from teammates, which is the next notable for the Deacs in this one.
In this game, Wake Forest passed the ball really well, finishing with 15 assists as a team.
Devin Thomas led the way for the Deacs in this stat, accounting for 5 of the 15 assists.
On the other end of the court, Wake Forest's interior defense was pretty good, as the Deacs finished the game with 8 blocks. It was the 3 point shooting of VT that kept them in this game.
The Hokies finished the game shooting 9-26 from beyond the arc, but considering the fact that they started 0-6, they shot pretty well from deep in this one once the game got going.
Wake Forest held the lead in this one for most of the game, starting from about the 8 minute mark in the first half. But, with a little under 2 minutes left in the game, Devin Wilson drove down the baseline and dumped the ball off to Christian Beyer, who laid the ball in for VT's first lead in the second half, 65-64.
At this point, probably most of the Wake Forest fans watching this game said something along the lines of "Here we go again." This game was starting to mirror exactly what happened in the Clemson and Florida State games. However, this one was different.
On the very next play, Wake Forest went inside to Devin Thomas, who was patient with the ball. He didn't try to force anything. He saw the double team, surveyed the court, and found Mitchell Wilbekin wide open in the opposite corner.
Wilbekin shot the ball with confidence and drained the 3 to reclaim the lead for the Deacs 67-65. VT was able to retie the game at 67 at the free throw line on the next possession.
With the game tied at 67 all, Wake Forest once again went inside to Devin Thomas. Again he was patient with the ball, surveyed the court, and decided to take the ball to the basket.
Devin spun nicely and got an easy 2 points to again reclaim the lead for the Deacs. Wake Forest would then get up by 4 on 2 free throws from Mitchell Wilbekin. These free throws would prove to be very important as Adam Smith would hit a 3 with 25 seconds left in the game to cut the lead to 1.
Madison Jones would then hit 2 huge free throws with 11 seconds remaining to increase the lead back to 3 at 73-70. Ahmed Hill was unable to get the game tying three pointer off in time off the inbound with 0.4 seconds remaining, and the Deacs would win the game.
Wake Forest finally closed a close game to pick up the win, thanks to their great execution and free throw shooting late in the game. Hopefully the Deacs can replicate this performance in future close games.