It was a game that was almost a carbon copy of the Furman game. The first half was close, with the Spartans even leading at points, but the second half ended on a 12-3 run for the Deacs and they never looked back. Travis McKie lead a balanced attack by the Deacs with a fantastic 19 point. 4 rebound performance.
Balance on offense. The Deacs shot 53% for the game, 44% from beyond the arc. Travis McKie had the aforementioned 19 points, C.J. Harris chipped in 11, Chase Fischer had 13, Devin Thomas and Arnaud William Adala Moto both had career highs with 12 and nine points respectively. Aaron Rountree III also had six points on four shots, including a thunderous putback dunk. It really was as close to a perfect offensive performance as I think can be expected with two caveats, both of which will be discussed below.
Tenacity on the glass. UNCG is a very good rebounding team, and Wake Forest actually outrebounded them on the day, 31-29, and the Deacs only gave up an acceptable four offensive rebounds. Special mentions to Moto and Devin, who pulled down six rebounds each, and definitely showed some power inside.
Good defense again. The Spartans shot 42% from the game, 38% from three. Wake Forest also had an impressive 10 team steals and four team blocks. The steals in particular led to some easy points, and Wake Forest continues to show a lot of promise in running the fast break.
Getting to the line. The Deacs forced the Spartans into a crazy 29 team fouls, and had 32 attempts from the line. Once again, this team shows a tremendous ability to get to the line, which is always a good thing.
Too many turnovers. 15 turnovers by the Deacs. One of them was admittedly intentional at the end of the game, when Wake Forest let the clock run out instead of taking a shot, but that's still too many. Madison Jones, who otherwise had a strong game, committed a team-high four turnovers.
Free throw shooting should be better. It wasn't terrible, but going 23-32 for 71% is not ideal. We make a few more of those, and this game would've been a real blowout.
Two four point plays? Seriously?! The Deacs gave Trevis Simpson two chances at four point plays, one of which was an absolutely baffling decision by C.J. Harris when the Deacs were up by 15 late in the second half. On the second one, thankfully Simpson couldn't convert, but that just cannot happen.
Yet again, the young Deacs showed balance, hustle, and a good mindset and approach to the game. Again, I'd like to see them be able to go for the throat earlier, but they were never in as deep of a hole in this game as they have been in some of the others. UNCG is another bad team, but they're nowhere near as bad as Furman, and Wake Forest was once again in control for basically the entirety of the second half. Devin Thomas and Arnaud William Adala Moto showed flashes of grit and toughness this game, Codi Miller-McIntyre had another good game with seven points (including 2-3 from behind the arc) and a team high five assists. The team continued to show a growing understanding of the offense that Coach Bzdelik chooses to run, and this team, unlike the teams of the last two years, shows a great deal of balance and a very team-oriented attitude.
I think the game against Xavier should be a good one, and I think there's a decent chance we'll go into the game in Cameron Indoor riding a three game winning streak. But I don't want to get ahead of myself. The important thing it was a good game, and another strong win. Go Deacs.