The Wake Forest Men’s Basketball Team improved to 2-0 tonight after taking down the Western Carolina Catamounts 87-75. This was a much tougher game than the season opener, as Justin Gray’s team fought right up to the final buzzer.
The Deacs were led by Oklahoma transfer Alondes Williams, who lit up the scoreboard with 32 points on 13-18 shooting. The senior added 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals in the winning effort. The only other Wake Forest players to hit double figures tonight were Daivien Williamson with 24 points (8-10, 4-6 from 3) and Cam Hildreth with 13 points (4-6, 2-2 from 3). Outside of those three, it was a pretty rough game for the Deacs. The three aforementioned players finished the game shooting 74% and combined for 69 points; the rest of the team combined scored just 18 points on 6-26 shooting (23%). The Deacs are going to need a more balanced effort in the future if they are going to make strides in the ACC this season, especially from senior Isaiah Mucius. Mucius has yet to find a rhythm offensively, scoring just 6 points on 1-7 shooting; through two games, Mucius has scored just 9 points on 18% shooting from the field.
The Catamounts are a team that take after their head coach—they shoot a ton of 3-pointers. WCU finished the first half 8-19 (42%) from downtown, which was basically keeping them neck and neck with Deacs for the first 20 minutes. Because of the way Wake Forest is cutting off the driving lanes, when the help defender jumps into the gap to help stop the ball, his man is likely going to have a look at a 3-pointer. That means Wake is probably going to give up more 3-pointers this season in exchange for giving up fewer drives to the basket. The hot shooting cooled off a bit in the second half for WCU, as the Catamounts finished the game shooting 12-33 (36%) from beyond the arc.
This was not the most impressive game from the Deacs, but at the end of the day, a win is a win. Wake will be back in action next Wednesday night to take on the Charleston Southern Buccaneers. Now let’s get ready for some football. Go Deacs!