This game pretty much embodied the saying "basketball is a game of runs." Wake Forest started the game by playing one of the best halves of basketball I have ever seen, and jumped out to a 21 point first half lead. In the second half, the Deacs managed to get up 24 points with 13 minutes left before the Wolfpack went on a huge 20-2 run to cut the lead to 5. Fortunately, the first half lead was too much for State to overcome, and the Deacs were able to hold on and win by a score of 88-84.
The first half was pretty much perfect for the Deacs. They shot 9-15 (60%) from the 3-point line, racked up 13 assists, and scored 51 points all in the first half. It was a total team effort, with 9 Wake Forest players scoring, notably Codi Miller-McIntyre with 10, Cornelius Hudson with 9, and Dinos Mitoglou with 9.
9 three pointers in 1 half is a lot, especially for a team that only makes about 6 a game. Wake Forest made 3's in the halfcourt...
...they made 3's in transition...
... and then, when the Wolfpack went to the zone, the Deacs just kept right on scoring.
The only State player that really did anything in the first half was Anthony "Cat" Barber. Barber had 16 of the Wolfpack's 30 first half points, and shot 3-5 from beyond the arc.
Without Barber's first half effort, Wake Forest's lead could have been even larger.
This was certainly one of, if not the best first half of basketball I think I have ever watched. The Deacs absolutely barraged NC State with 3 pointers. The zone, which has given Wake some trouble this year, didn't even phase them in this one. Basically the first half had me like:
The second half was a much different story. Trevor Lacy and Ralston Turner started to heat up from the 3-point line, and when these two guys are hitting, they are 2 of the best shooters in the country.
Fueled by 3-point shooting, the Wolfpack went on a massive 20-2 run to cut the Wake Forest lead to 5. Perhaps the Deacs learned something from their win over Virginia Tech, where they closed out the game down the stretch, because they were able to do the same thing in this one.
Just like the VT game, the Deacs went inside to Devin Thomas late in the game, and he delivered with a huge basket to increase the lead to 8 points with 1:20 left in the game. Devin finished with another double-double, netting 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Wake Forest would make enough free throws late to win, barely, by a score of 88-84. It seems like the Deacs should have won by more, seeing that with 13 minutes left they were up by 24, but the important thing is that Wake played well enough to have a 24 point lead, and when faced with adversity down the stretch, the Deacs kept their composure and were able to put the game away. The Greatest [Half of a] Game Ever Played