That was stressful. The Deacs looked flat all night and trailed for most of the second half, but were able to come away with the win on a last second Tyree Appleby 3-pointer to beat Utah Valley and improve to 3-0 on the season.
With the game tied 65-65 in overtime, Steve Forbes drew up a perfect play for Appleby to get a great look to win the game, and he made it count.
That was perfect execution from everyone involved: a great pass from Cam Hildreth to Matthew Marsh, a great catch by Marsh, and a perfect shot from Appleby. That was just an absolutely gorgeous way to win a game.
Unfortunately, that was about the only thing that looked good for the Deacs in this one. This was easily one of—if not the—worst offensive performances I can remember in the Forbes era. There was just absolutely no movement in the offense and way too much one on one. A lot of possessions ended with 4 players standing completely flat footed watching one guy slowly dribble the ball to death and try to back his man into the paint. The Deacs finished the game shooting just 21-65 from the floor (32%) and 8-23 (34%) from beyond the arc. Wake is definitely going to need to get back to moving the ball around quickly as they start to play more talented teams.
Give credit to Utah Valley as well—the Wolverines are a tough team and played a really good game. Justin Harmon and Le’tre Darthard combined for 37 points and Aziz Bandaogo was an absolute monster in the paint. The big man finished with 9 points, 17 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
For Wake, Appleby really bailed the Deacs out tonight. The Florida transfer scored 23 of Wake’s 68 points and assisted on 6 of the 16 other made shots. Andrew Carr finished with a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds, but shot just 6-17 from the floor. The only other Deac in double figures was Daivien Williamson with 10 points on 3-10 shooting.
This was a gross game, but a win is a win. Sometimes you have to win ugly, and the Deacs definitely proved they could do that tonight. Hopefully the offense gets back on track as Wake heads to Jamaica to take on La Salle.