GAME NOTES: The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will take a trip down Tobacco Road for a rematch with the NC State Wolfpack, as the teams meet in Atlantic Coast Conference action at PNC Arena.
The first encounter between these teams this season provided plenty of thrills, as the Demon Deacons escaped with a 70-69 victory on a last-second layup from Codi Miller-McIntyre. The win was the second in the last three meetings for Wake Forest, which still trails in the all-time series, 137-101.
Since defeating the Wolfpack, the Demon Deacons have managed just two wins in six games, included losses in the last three bouts. Wake Forest is now 14-9 overall, but they sit two games below .500 in conference play (4-6). A home game against Florida State is next on the schedule.
NC State has been headed in the opposite direction of late, with wins in four of the last five contests. Despite the recent success, the Wolfpack are just a game up on the Demon Deacons both in overall record (15-8) and in the conference standings (5-5). They will begin a three-game road trip next, starting at top-ranked Syracuse on Saturday.
The Demon Deacons tangled with another local rival on Saturday, as they fell to eighth-ranked Duke, 83-63. Wake Forest shot a solid 48.7 percent from the field, but was outscored by a whopping 36-9 margin beyond the arc, while turning the ball over 19 times.
If there was a positive to be taken from the loss to the Blue Devils, it was the efficiency in shooting Wake Forest had. On the season, the Demon Deacons are just 10th in the ACC in field goal percentage (.445), which has led to a scoring average of only 71 ppg. Miller-McIntyre (14.4 ppg, 3.8 apg) is the team's best playmaker, creating scoring chances for himself as well as his teammates. Devin Thomas (11.4 ppg, 8 rpg) leads on the boards and finishes on 55.9 percent of his shots from the field. Travis McKie (10.8 ppg) provides another scoring option.
T.J. Warren poured in a game-high 27 points as NC State escaped with a 65-55 win against Miami-Florida over the weekend. T.J. Warren scored a game-high 27 points, and Ralston Turner added 17. The rest of the Wolfpack managed to produce only three field goals.
NC State does not score or shoot much better than Wake Forest, netting 71.2 ppg on 45.8 percent field goal efficiency this season. Warren (22.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg) has done his best to remedy the situation, leading the ACC in scoring while hitting on 51.7 percent of his attempts from the floor. He has scored at least 20 points in six straight games and 18 overall. The rest of the scoring responsibilities are spread out, with Anthony Barber (10.3 ppg, 4 apg), Desmond Lee (10.2 ppg) and Turner (10 ppg) all averaging in double figures as well. However, outside of those four, no other player on the team is putting in more than six ppg.
Wake Forest doesn't really have an answer for Warren on the interior. That didn't matter last time as he scored 22 points in a one-point defeat against the Demon Deacons. However, the result should be reversed this time, now that NC State is the home squad.
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