With 7:04 remaining in the first half, Wake Forest trailed Elon by 21 points. By the end of the first, the Demon Deacons had cut down the Phoenix lead to 12. The second half was all Wake Forest, as the Deacs used their size, athleticism, and tenacity advantages to clamp down defensively, dominate the glass, and score at will from inside out.
The first time I ever came to BSD as a fan was after the Wake Forest season opener loss to the Stetson Hatters in 2010, the first season of the Jeff Bzdelik era. The first 12 minutes and change of this game, I was getting flashbacks. But Steve Forbes is clearly not Jeff Bzdelik, and even without the services of Efton Reid, Wake Forest was able to showcase depth, grit, and a team-wide determination to not let something like that happen again. Elon was held to 23 points in the second half, a truly staggering defensive effort, while Cam Hildreth and Andrew Carr went absolutely nuclear offensively, ending up a combined 20-27 shooting, and 15-17 from the free throw line. Hunter Sallis kept the Deacs in it early offensively, pouring in 19 points including three triples, and an overall 7-14 shooting tally.
It’s something else when a team is favored by 19.5 points, is down 21, and covers the spread by the end of the night. If Wake Forest can start off better their next game and continue tonight’s second half energy throughout the entire game, this Demon Deacon squad is going to give teams fits throughout the year. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a Wake Forest team complete a 44 point swing in a single game before tonight, yet here we are. Coach Forbes is a remarkable motivator, and this team clearly has a lot of depth and talent.
On to the next. Go Deacs.