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Wake Forest hums on offense, throttles Syracuse by 29

The Deacs scored 57 second-half points

Evan Harris/BloggerSoDear

Still remote coverage due to work in California, so quick recap sans quotes below


Three days prior, Wake Forest basketball lost because of its inability to close in the second half. Not so Saturday. After holding a 14-point halftime lead, the Deacs dropped 57 points in the final 20 minutes, dominating Syracuse 99-70.

Wake Forest’s shooting was impressive all night long — 66% from the field and 63% from three — but was even more impactful in the second half. The Deacs rattled home seven shots from behind the arc en route to a 70% second-half three-point clip.

The shooting parade was led by Hunter Sallis, who began the game a perfect 6-6 from the field and ended 7-9 for 24 points, including four threes. Boopie Miller added 21, while Andrew Carr posted 16. Following a tough stretch exacerbated by a wrist injury, Cam Hildreth found his groove driving to the hoop, notching a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Though center Efton Reid was able to give 25 minutes, early foul trouble in the first half required the services of Matthew Marsh. In just his second game since Dec. 18, the junior provided 13 minutes of good basketball.

Marsh was especially impactful when Reid took a seat with over eight minutes remaining in the first. Wake Forest outscored the Orange by nine in those final minutes of the half, while only allowing eight points.

The first half scoring woes for Syracuse were what allowed the Deacs to jump out to a fast lead. The Orange opened 0-4 from the field, and didn’t get much better from there, finishing the half with a 34.5 field-goal percentage and 27.3% from three. As for the full 40 minutes, the field goals only rose to 40.3%, while the three-pointers dipped even further.

Two big runs allowed Wake Forest to run the lead up in the first — eight unanswered beginning at the 13:15 mark and a 10-0 run closing in on halftime.

In the second half, it was a multitude of mini-runs that put the Orange to bed. In the final 20 minutes, Wake Forest scored four or more straight on seven different occasions.

Though Wake Forest’s 14 turnovers may be a cause for concern, as it has all season, the 16 assists make up for it, as does a 36-23 rebound advantage.

With the two-game losing streak done and dusted, Wake Forest has righted the ship, for now. On Tuesday, the Deacs must find a way to break a disastrous trend of road losses with a trip south to Georgia Tech. Tipoff is set for 7pm on ESPNU.