Wake Forest plows past Elon, 90-50

Dec. 13, 2009

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest used a dominating inside game, scoring 52 points in the paint to blow past Elon 90-50. The 40-point win marked the largest margin of victory of the season for the Deacons and the Phoenix's 50 points were the also the fewest allowed by Wake on the year.

With the win Wake Forest improves to 6-2 while Elon falls to 3-7.

The scoring was well distributed for Wake as five Deacons scored in double figures. Freshman Ari Stewart posted his second consecutive solid performance, coming off the bench to lead Wake with a team-high 16 points and also pulling in four rebounds.

Al-Farouq Aminu recorded his fifth double-double of the season and 15th of his career off the bench, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 boards. Ishmael Smith had 12 points to go with three assists and three steals.

Gary Clark also had a strong game off the bench scoring 12 points and snatching a career-high four steals in the most playing time of his career. L. D. Williams added 10 points, going five for five from the field.

"It was a good win for us, and I thought our bench really gave us another great lift," head coach Dino Gaudio said. "They've done a tremendous job all year with Ari and Gary Clark coming in. Our bench did a terrific job for us."

Wake used their size to their advantage, outscoring Elon 52-16 in the paint and outrebounding the Phoenix 53-27. Speed was also a factor as the Deacons had 19 fast break points to only two for Elon.

The Demon Deacons shot 53 percent (38-72) from the field including 2 for 5 from behind the arc. The Phoenix shot only 31 percent (18-58) and went 3 for 24 (13 percent) from distance including 0 for 8 in the second half.

The Deacons' recent free throw woes were nowhere to be found as they went 12 for 14 from the charity stripe for a season-high 86 percent.

Chris Long led Elon with 11 points and four assists, while Drew Spradlin added 10 points and four rebounds.

Stewart came into the game at the 16:24 mark of the first half and made an immediate impact for Wake. He drained three mid-range jumpers and converted three free throws after getting fouled on a deep shot to score nine points in his first five minutes of play. Behind Stewart's efforts, the Deacons went on an 11-1 run to take a 25-13 lead with 8:58 remaining in the half.

With 6:12 left in the opening period, Smith ran off of a made basket by the Phoenix and kicked it to Stewart in the corner. Stewart missed a three but Aminu skied for the rebound and was fouled on the put back. He would make the free throw to convert the old-fashioned three-point play to extend Wake's lead to 30-17.

With four seconds left in the half, Aminu missed a jumper but Chas McFarland dove to keep the rebound alive. The ball rolled to Aminu who nailed a 16-foot fade-away as time expired to send Wake Forest into the locker room with a 41-28 advantage.

The Deacons went on a 23-8 run to start the second half, giving them a 64-36 lead with 11:14 remaining in the game. With 8:20 to play, the Phoenix threw a long inbounds pass from under Wake's basket that was intercepted by Smith who took it the rest of the way for the slam.

"I think that we know ourselves that we can get beat by anybody anywhere, or we can beat anybody anywhere. Our last couple games showed that with William & Mary and at Gonzaga," Gaudio said. "I think we have to keep building because Wednesday night is not going to be any day at the beach."

Wake Forest will travel to take on UNC-Wilmington in their next game on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU, and can also be heard on the Wake Forest ISP Sports Radio Network.



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