"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Wake Forest tops Miami in OT thriller, enters ACC elite

The Demon Deacons now sits among two other 11-3 teams to lead the ACC
Senior forward Andrew Carr (7pts, 8reb) drives into the lane (Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics).

After Wake Forest men’s basketball (11-3, 2-1) defeated the Miami Hurricanes (11-3, 3-0) at home this Saturday, Head Coach Steve Forbes was enamored by the prestige of an overtime win against a conference contender. 

“That’s what a Saturday in the ACC should look like,” Forbes said. 

Wake Forest seemed to be on a collision course all week with the ACC conference-leading Hurricanes after taking down both Virginia Tech and Boston College to open their season’s conference play. Miami, meanwhile, has sat atop the conference nearly all season long since advancing to the Final Four in last season’s NCAA Tournament. 

Miami was locked in from deep early, hitting four 3-pointers in the first five minutes of game action. Despite an early deficit, Forbes’ squad soon took command — blocking five shots and creating four steals in the first half, stifling the Hurricanes offense. Junior guard Cameron Hildreth (23pts, 3reb, 2stl) hit a barrage of 3-pointers, scoring four buckets from deep en route to a career-high in made 3-pointers (5). Meanwhile, fellow guards Hunter Sallis (18pts, 7reb) and Kevin “Boopie” Miller (27pts, 3-3 3PT) each also entered double-digit scoring before halftime to put Wake Forest up seven at the break. 

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The Demon Deacons’ success behind the perimeter can be attributed to Forbes’ game plan. Backcourt players like Sallis, Miller and Hildreth each penetrated the lane and got into the paint — collapsing Miami’s defense and allowing for the Demon Deacons to hit twelve 3-pointers, their season high.

“That’s why you saw us shoot more [3-pointers] today,” Forbes said postgame. “Really we were playing off dribble penetration. The decision today was to kick [the ball] out.”

Forbes’ scheme also allowed for taller players like 6-foot-10 forward Andrew Carr (7pts, 8reb) and 7-foot center Efton Reid (2pts, 11reb, 5blk) to pull down rebounds and kick them out to perimeter shooters, leading to open looks. Reid’s seven offensive rebounds allowed Wake Forest to score 12 second-chance points. 

We have to win games like this to get back to where Wake Forest basketball wants to be.

— Steve Forbes, Men's Basketball Head Coach

“Efton did a fabulous job of keeping balls and key possessions alive,” Forbes said. 

After the halftime break, Miami quickly tied the game at 44, and the lead was traded back and forth in the following minutes. Neither team could amount more than a four point lead throughout the last 16 minutes of the game. 

The game remained close throughout the late stages. With under a minute remaining, Hildreth grabbed a critical turnover, and a subsequent foul sent the 86% free throw shooter to the line to tie the game with just seconds remaining. After draining both free throws, Miami Head Coach Jim Larrañaga took a timeout to draw up a potentially game-winning play. The play’s execution allowed for Hurricanes guard Matthew Cleveland (17pts, 4 reb) to create isolation on Carr, but his jumper rimmed out and sent the match into overtime. 

Wake Forest stuck with their dribble penetration and heavy rebounding scheme during the back-and-forth of the extra period. Reid’s four rebounds put the ball in the hands of shooters like Sallis and Miller, who each hit critical 3-pointers to put the Demon Deacons ahead and seal the overtime victory. 

This win over a contender early in the conference slate potentially spells success for Wake Forest. After Saturday’s win, Forbes talked about the significance that wins like this one have for Wake Forest’s college basketball program and their aspirations. 

“Miami’s been where we want to be, [and] they’ve done what we want to do,” Forbes said. “They are one of the best programs in our league. We have to win games like this to get back to where Wake Forest basketball wants to be.”

The Demon Deacons will continue conference play this upcoming Tuesday against the Florida State Seminoles (8-6) in Tallahassee, Fla. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ACC Network.

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About the Contributor
Andrew Braun, Sports Editor
Andrew is a freshman from Wrightsville Beach, N.C. intending to major in politics and international affairs and minor in journalism. Outside of the OGB, he is a member of a capella group Innuendo and Model United Nations. In his free time, you can find him playing bass and guitar, watching only the most obscure NBA matchups and paddle surfing at the beach.

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