Demon Deacons Defeat Boston College, 93-76
Feb. 8, 2009
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -Dino Gaudio listed all the little things his Wake Forest team did right during its rapid rise to No. 1. Then, he watched his Demon Deacons finally do them again.
They ran, they rebounded, they defended - and, not coincidentally, they got two of their most dependable scorers back on track.
"We've got to remember who we are," Gaudio said. "We're a defensive team, hard-nosed. On offense, we are a fast-break, inside-scoring basketball team, and we've got to be a good rebounding team.
"You're constantly evolving, you're constantly changing," the Wake Forest coach added, "and this thing, as we know, it's a marathon. You know what? We're running a pretty good race so far."
James Johnson had 12 points and 10 rebounds while L.D. Williams added 11 points for the Demon Deacons (18-3, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot 57.4 percent overall and 65.5 percent during the second half, using a big surge during the final 20 minutes to bounce back from a 27-point loss at Miami and claim their second double-digit win over the Eagles.
"(Gaudio) was like, 'We have to win this game. If we don't, it's not good for the Deacs,"' Teague said. "This is the game that will turn our season around, and we came out and played well."
Joe Trapani had 19 points to lead Boston College (18-7, 6-4), but just four of those came after halftime, when Gaudio put Williams - his top lock-down defender - on him. Tyrese Rice added 18 points on 7-of-17 shooting and Corey Raji had 14. Josh Southern added 12 points for BC, which had its five-game winning streak snapped.
"We did not execute defensively very well," BC coach Al Skinner said. "We lost guys. At times, we had poor recognition on the defensive end. We lost our concentration. And offensively, we didn't execute very well. We couldn't get the shots we wanted. I thought we were hesitant. We did not, at all, take the ball aggressively. At times, we just conceded."
For much of the way, this one wasn't as easy as the final score indicated for Wake Forest.
The once-No. 1 Demon Deacons entered having lost three of the four games that followed their school-record 16-0 start, and a third consecutive defeat seemed possible. They couldn't pull away from the pesky Eagles until midway through the second half, when Aminu bookended a 21-9 run that put his team in control.
He started the burst with a stickback with 18 1/2 minutes left and put Wake Forest ahead for good on the next trip downcourt, laying in a pretty feed from Teague to make it 54-52.
"We kind of let one mistake compound into two, three, four," Tripani said. "I think that was a killer."
Then, Aminu capped the run by taking Teague's kickout pass in the corner and burying a 3-pointer - just his third of the season, and his first at home - to give Wake Forest its first double-figure lead, 71-61, at the 11-minute mark.
"I think I'm a better shooter than I'm showing," Aminu said. "Coach still lets me shoot them. He hasn't taken them away from me. ... They'll start falling, eventually."
Meanwhile, the Demon Deacons' vaunted defense - which entered as the ACC's toughest to shoot against - held the Eagles to two field goals, both layups by Rice, during an 8 1/2-minute stretch.
"We used to put the fear in people defensively," Gaudio said. "We've got to get back to doing that."
Both of Wake Forest's high-scoring stars seemed to rediscover their touch at the Eagles' expense.
Aminu responded to his miserable four-point performance at Miami with his first 20-point game against ACC competition, hitting eight of nine shots - including all eight attempts after the break.
"Farouq, he just runs - so many of his shots are just right at the cup. ... And he hit a 3," Gaudio said, with a chuckle and mock fist-pump.
Teague, the ACC's second-leading scorer who had a string of five 20-point games during his team's ascent to No. 1, had finished in the teens during his last three before breaking back out against Boston College.
He had 21 points during a tight first half in which neither team led by more than seven. He was 8-for-8 from the free-throw line, leading a Demon Deacons team that was 18-for-19 from the stripe in the opening 20 minutes.
"We were really a confident group, but after two losses - we're young, and people got down on each other," Teague said. "But we got back together this week, and we're doing pretty well. We've got that confidence to go into N.C. State (on Wednesday night) and get it done."