It wasn't pretty at times, but boy was it effective and beautiful at the end as Wake Forest upset Florida State 76-72 to stop a seven game losing streak and improve to 9-13 (2-8) on the season.
Florida State dropped to 16-6 (5-5) following the loss on the road.
The Noles led by as many as 10 points in the first half, most notably 39-29 before the break. Wake fought back like it has not been able to do for most of the season and was able to secure the victory down the stretch.
It was a bit of a free throw battle when it mattered, with both Wake and FSU missing free throws that could have won or tied the game in the final few minutes.
In the end it was a Doral Moore dunk and a Doral Moore free throw that ultimately iced it for the Deacs to set off a raucous celebration at mid-court to finally get the losing streak over with.
After an inauspicious start junior point guard Bryant Crawford was sensational in the second half and hopefully finally broke through to get back to his old self. He finished with 19 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, and just 3 turnovers.
I have been hard on Crawford and the guards in general, but he and Keyshawn Woods were both huge reasons for the Deacs snapping this skid.
Woods scored seemingly at will in the first part of the second half en route to a 15 point effort on 9 shots. Freshman Chaundee Brown continued his strong play as of late with 15 points on 9 shots and a rebound. His three-point shooting and mid-range game was a big reason for the win tonight as well.
It also would not be a recap without talking about the play of Doral Moore, who battled hard inside all night against the massive front court of Florida State. Moore finished with 8 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 steals, including the biggest dunk and free throw of the game to win it. He has committed just 7 turnovers in 10 ACC games this year, which is a huge change from the past two years.
Big credit to head coach Danny Manning for the substitution patterns as well. I don't say this just because the game ended in a W, because he had a great game managing the bench.
Mitchell Wilbekin, SJM, and Melo Eggleston were all unavailable tonight, so it made for substantially fewer decisions from Manning, but his rotations late in the game, basically going with seven players for the majority of the game, were fantastic in my opinion.
Wake will try to make it two in a row on Saturday when the No. 20 Clemson Tigers head to Winston at 2 PM. The Tigers got a huge win against North Carolina last night to snap a 10 game, 8 year losing streak to the Tar Heels and will be looking to improve their seeding for the ACC and NCAA Tournament.