My vocabulary isn't extensive enough to properly articulate just how much Wake Forest was out-classed by Virginia tonight. It was by far Wake Forest's worst performance of the year, and was probably the program's worst performance since 2012 when Wake Forest lost 94-68 to Iona. At one point in that contest Wake Forest was down 41-5. Wake Forest had numerous advantages going for them in this game. They were at home, had eight days to prepare, and Virginia was down two starters. Yet Virginia went to Winston-Salem, a place they haven't won since the 2000-2001 season, and won 70-34. I've had typos in articles before, but that score is unfortunately accurate.
How Wake Forest fans felt tonight:
Devin Thomas entered tonight's game needing just four points to reach 1,000 career points at Wake Forest. He still doesn't have 1,000. Thomas finished with 2 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 turnovers. That's really all you needed to know about this one. From the the very early Wake Forest looked lethargic, passive and tentative. I give some credit to Virginia's defense (especially transition defense), but Wake's offense was stagnant and lacked purpose or identity. Wake was down 4-2 at the under-16 timeout, and then down just 8-7 after a nasty Aaron Rountree dunk off a baseline drive, but that's when the wheels fell off. Virginia went on a 17-2 run at that point before leading 36-15 at the half. Wake took bad shots after several nonchalant passes around the perimeter, and then Virginia just scored in transition. Had Virginia not scored in the entire second half, they still would have won the game by two.
Virginia physically dominated and out-hustled Wake Forest all night. Virginia won the rebounding battle 45-29 and had 46 points in the paint to Wake's 14. It was an unacceptable performance by any expectation level. Yes, Virginia is the number two team in the country, but they did not win tonight because of sheer talent. They won partially because of a talent advantage, but they out-executed and out-hustled Wake Forest. Wake was a step slow on defense all night. They continued to get beat off the dribble, and their rotations were slow.
Virginia went 5-14 from deep, and Wake was fortunate it wasn't worse. So many of those threes were uncontested and came off baseline passes. Wake, on the other hand, was an abysmal 4-22 from beyond the arc. They made just 12 of 55 field goals overall, and finished with an effective field goal percentage of 25.5%, with an offensive efficiency of 55.9 points per 100 possessions. Virginia had an offensive efficiency of 114.4 per 100 possessions. I'm not a math major, but that means Virginia was literally more than twice as efficient as Wake Forest. Source tell me that's how you more than double a score.
What else is there to say? Wake Forest (12-16, 4-11) will now look to rebound (if they can still do that) on Sunday when they host a Pittsburgh team who is playing its best basketball of the season. The action starts at 6:30 p.m. and is Wake's last home game of the season. Virginia (26-1, 14-1) will host Virginia Tech on Saturday.