Monsanto shines in victory over Notre Dame

The guard’s 28 points propel the Demon Deacons to an 81-64 win


Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics

Damari Monsanto’s 3-pointers help Wake Forest beat Notre Dame.

Sean Kennedy, Asst. Sports Editor

Coming off of a four-game losing streak, the Wake Forest men’s basketball squad traveled to South Bend, Ind., to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, led by head coach Mike Brey and experienced seniors Nate Laszewski, Marcus Hammond and Cormac Ryan.

Starting a smaller lineup of Tyree Appleby, Cameron Hildreth, Daivien Williamson, Andrew Carr and Damari Monsanto, the Demon Deacons sought to get off to a quick start offensively. However, the task would be harder to complete than initially thought.

The atmosphere at Purcell Pavilion proved incredibly tough to crack at the beginning of the game for the Demon Deacons. Through the first 10 minutes, the team had eight turnovers with only four points to show on the scoreboard. Despite an eight-minute scoring drought, they only found themselves down a manageable 12 points — something the team had proven it could come back from in the past.

Eventually, the Demon Deacons brought the deficit back to within two points with four minutes remaining in the first half after a set of threes from Monsanto and exceptional play by freshman Bobi Klintman. By halftime, a 23-10 run helped the Demon Deacons go into the locker room with a one-point lead.

Coming out of the break, the Demon Deacons had one of the best offensive halves in recent history. Within the first five minutes of second-half play, Monsanto would provide a trio of 3-pointers, in addition to a pair of treys from Daivien Williamson, putting Wake Forest up thirteen.

After the barrage of threes from the Demon Deacon offense, head coach Steve Forbes sought the ball to go inside, including a layup and a pair of slams from sophomore big-man Matthew Marsh. 

After a pair of free throws along with a three from Appleby, the Demon Deacons would never waver in their lead of 13 or more within the last six minutes of the game. Another pair of 3-pointers for Monsanto would seal the game and put the tally up to eight 3-pointers for him on the night. 

Monsanto’s 28 points on 8-13 shooting from 3-point land would be a career high, a feat accomplished on a national stage. He also leads all Power Five conference players in made 3-point goals on the season with 76. Per ESPN’s Mike Monaco, he’s also making 41.5% of his shots from deep on 7.95 3-pointers a game, something only one player in ACC history has done before —  two-time consensus All-American JJ Redick.

“Some of the shots that [Monsanto] made, that’s NBA stuff,” Notre Dame’s Brey said. 

“[Mosanto] got us going,” Forbes said after the game. “To win on the road, you have to have that kind of performance from somebody, and [Monsanto] is capable of that.”