The Wake Forest Demon Deacons bounced back from a tough loss to Northwestern on Monday evening by knocking off the Richmond Spiders, 75-67, on the road to improve to 6-2 on the season. What were the key takeaways from this one?
Wake Forest did not shoot the ball well from beyond the arc in the first half, as they were a miserable 1-11, but a 25-14 edge on the boards enabled the Deacs to take a 32-30 lead at halftime. John Collins had 6 points and 6 rebounds in just 9 minutes in the first half, but foul trouble kept Collins on the bench. Wake’s balanced scoring continued, as the Deacs had 5 players score at least 4 points in the first half. Dinos Mitoglou had 6 first half points, and I was impressed that they looked to feed him in the post against a smaller team in Richmond.
The Deacs didn’t shoot much better from outside in the second half, as they went just 3-13, but some timely threes from Austin Arians around the 15 minute mark to break open a tie at 38. I thought Arians was mostly very good today and provided Wake with a good offensive spark. Greg McClinton finished with 4 points and 4 rebounds, and I thought he performed very well around this time of the game. The stretch from 15 minutes remaining to 8 minutes remaining was critical, as Wake Forest extended the lead to 11 after a John Collins tip in with 7:40 to go.
Collins sat for nearly the entire first 10 minutes of the second half after picking up his third foul just 1 minute and 13 seconds into the second half. It was a dumb decision by Collins to attempt to block the shot of a driving player, but I thought that head coach Danny Manning was a bit too conservative in keeping him in the bench in foul trouble.
Bryant Crawford had consecutive steals with just under 5 minutes to go to extend Wake Forest’s lead to 13 at 65-52. The rest was mostly academic, though I thought that Wake Forest got too complacent down the stretch and chose killing clock over running offense. Richmond’s top duo of T.J. Cline and ShawDre’ Jones combined for 38 points, but the Spiders didn’t get enough contributions from the rest of the team.
Crawford was much improved from his awful performance against Northwestern where he committed 9 turnovers. Crawford scored just 8 points, but he also hauled in 7 rebounds, and dished out 10 assists to just 1 turnover. John Collins had another monster game and finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. He has to do a better job of staying out of foul trouble, however, as Wake Forest is a completely different team when he isn’t in the game.
Overall, Wake needs to do a better job of protecting the ball because 15 turnovers isn’t getting it done. They dominated the glass 45-31 and I thought that was the key reason that Wake won today. They did an excellent job of limiting Richmond to just 1 opportunity on offense. This was Wake’s best win of the year, and I’m proud of the effort.
Richmond will host UMBC next Saturday, while Wake Forest will resume play on Tuesday when they host the Charlotte 49ers.
Wake Forest vs Richmond recapPosted by Blogger So Dear on Saturday, December 3, 2016