The Wake Forest Demon Deacons improved to 5-7 overall and 2-7 in the ACC with a 66-54 win over a short-handed Miami team that was limited to just 7 players. The Deacs were led by junior guard Daivien Williamson, who finished with 16 points on 6-10 shooting. After turning the ball over 21 times in a loss against NC State, Wake Forest did a much better job valuing possessions against Miami and finished the game with just 11 turnovers.
This game could not have started much worse for Wake Forest. The Deacs, who have been plagued by turnovers through their first 8 ACC games, turned the ball over literally in the first 3 seconds of the game. They then went on to miss 9 straight shots and fell behind 0-7 before they managed to get on the scoreboard. The only good thing that happened early for the Deacs was that they played solid defense and were fortunate to only be in a 7 point deficit.
Once Williamson broke the seal on the basket with that first 2-point basket, the Deacs got hot on offense—Wake Forest hit 6 of their next 9 3-point attempts and used a 15-0 run to take a 20-13 lead. The Deacs never looked back and led the rest of the way. Wake finished the game shooting just 41% from the floor but 45% from 3-point range, with 13 of their 23 made baskets being 3-pointers.
This was a great team win for the Deacs, with 4 Wake Forest players scoring double digits. Williamson led the way with 16 points. Jalen Johnson added 15 points on 5-10 shooting including 3-7 from downtown. Isaiah Mucius scored 13 points and added 9 rebounds and 2 assists, coming up just 1 rebound short of a double-double. Carter Whitt had maybe his best game so far as a Deac, scoring 11 points on 4-4 shooting with 1 assist and just 2 turnovers. Ody Oguama scored just 5 points but added a career high 12 rebounds to help Wake Forest get the victory.
This was probably the best Wake Forest has played in ACC play. The ball movement was really good in this one, and the ball very rarely stuck with any 1 player for longer than a few moments. Wake’s 11 turnovers were tied for a season low with the Louisville game. The defense was very solid too—Miami shot just 43% from the floor as a team and Wake held Isaiah Wong to 14 points on 5-15 shooting. I think the Deacs may finally have a hat to hang on defense.
Wake Forest will head to Notre Dame (6-9, 3-6) on Tuesday for another chance at building a winning streak.