GAME NOTES: Atlantic Coast Conference play resumes for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Virginia Cavaliers, as the two are set to tip it off at John Paul Jones Arena.
This will be only the second true road game of the season for Wake Forest, and the team is just 1-3 outside of Winston-Salem, North Carolina this season. The Demon Deacons have won five of their last six games overall, including Sunday's 73-67 home win over 19th-ranked North Carolina. The lone loss in that span was also their only road contest, a 68-53 setback at Xavier on Dec. 28.
Virginia has split its last six games since the start of December. Most recently, the Cavaliers notched a 62-50 win at Florida State on Saturday and will hope to gain some momentum with another win here. Following this tilt, they'll hit the road to face NC State and Duke next week.
Wake Forest holds a 70-60 lead in the all-time series with UVA, although the Cavaliers are 37-21 as the home team.
The Demon Deacons were outrebounded by a 53-34 margin in Sunday's showdown with UNC. However, they were able to overcome that by forcing 17 turnovers and holding the Tar Heels to 39-percent shooting from the floor and a 2-of-15 effort (13 percent) from the perimeter. Wake Forest's offensive output was far from ideal however, as the Deacs made only 2-of-12 3-pointers and shot 57.6 percent from the foul line (19-of-33). Travis McKie led the way with 16 points, while Codi Miller-McIntyre scored 12, and Tyler Cavanaugh and Arnaud Adala Moto finished with 11 apiece. Miller-McIntyre paces the squad with 16.6 ppg on the season and is one of four players averaging double figures. Devin Thomas is next in line with 11.4 points and a team-best 9.3 rebounds per tilt.
Senior guard Joe Harris is the only double-digit scorer for UVA with an average of 10.3 ppg. He played only three minutes of Saturday's win at Florida State after colliding with teammate Akil Mitchell's knee during a loose ball scramble and failing to pass a concussion test. While the Cavaliers tend to spread the ball evenly in halfcourt sets, their real strength is on the defensive end, where they have limited foes to 37.5-percent shooting from the floor and 56.2 ppg. The Cavs also boast a +8.1 rebounding margin on the season. Coming off an ugly loss at Tennessee in its previous outing, UVA dialed up the defensive pressure on Saturday by holding the Seminoles to 30.8- percent shooting. The Cavs shot just 32.8 percent but committed only six turnovers for the game and had four players reach double figures in Harris' absence.
Wake Forest has gotten off to a promising start, although all but one of its 11 victories came in Winston-Salem. The availability of Harris will obviously be a key factor in this matchup, but even if he is not cleared to play, the Cavaliers proved against FSU that they are capable of overcoming his absence.
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