Basketball Gameday - Wake Forest vs. Maryland
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest is set to host its first conference game of the year when the Demon Deacons welcome in the Maryland Terrapins on Wednesday evening at the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem.
Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. The game will be televised on the ACC Network and can also be heard on the Wake Forest Sports Network from IMG College.
The Demon Deacons (7-9, 0-1) are coming off a 90-69 loss at rival NC State on Saturday in Raleigh. The setback snapped a three-year winning streak for the Deacons in ACC openers.
Gary Clark led Wake Forest with 13 points and three steals, while C.J. Harris and Ari Stewart chipped in 12 points apiece. Harris also dished out five assists on the afternoon, moving him up to third place on the year in the ACC assist per game rankings.
Freshman center Carson Desrosiers had one of his most productive games to date. The 7-footer had a season-high seven rebounds to go along with six points, two blocks and an assist in 33 minutes of action. Desrosiers has started each of the past three games for the Deacons.
Maryland (10-5, 0-2) comes to town following a 71-64 loss at Duke on Sunday night. The loss snapped the Terrapins' three-game winning streak and sent them to 0-2 to open the conference season.
Terrapin sophomore forward Jordan Williams is one of the ACC's top players this season, leading the league in rebounding (11.9 rpg) and field goal percentage (57.7%). Williams also ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring with 18.0 points per game.
Maryland leads the all-time series with Wake Forest, 62-56, but the Deacons have won two of the past three meetings. Wake pulled out an 85-83 overtime win over the Terps last season in Winston-Salem. The Deacons will make the return trip to College Park on Feb. 5.
Last Time Out
The Deacons hung tough early on with multiple chances to take the lead in the first half, but the Wolfpack was able to pull away at the beginning of the second period.
NC State scored the final eight points of the first half to take a 40-30 lead into the locker room. After Wake scored the first six points of the second half, State followed with nine straight to take control of the game.
Three Deacons reached double figures, as Gary Clark led the way with 13 points and C.J. Harris and Ari Stewart each had 12. Harris also added five assists, while Clark had a solid defensive game with three steals.
Carson Desrosiers led the Deacons in rebounding by tying a season-high with seven boards. He also had six points and two blocks for Wake Forest.
The Deacons did their best job of the season protecting the ball with a season-low seven turnovers, but NC State dominated the boards, outrebounding Wake Forest 47-22, including 20 offensive rebounds.
Wake Forest shot 42.4 percent (25-of-59) from the field but went just 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) from beyond the arc. NC State shot 51.5 percent (34-of-66) from the field, including a 21-for-36 (58.3 percent) showing in the second period.
After the Deacons had two failed possessions to take the lead when trailing 28-27 late in the first half, the Wolfpack closed the period on a 12-3 run.
The Deacons opened the second half with six straight points in the first minute and a half, but the Wolfpack responded with nine straight points over the next three minutes to push their lead to 49-36. Wake Forest could not get the deficit under double digits the rest of the way.
Wake Forest in ACC Openers
That marked the first time Wake had won three straight ACC openers since winning four straight from 1994-97.
Wake Forest opened conference play on the road this season for the first time since falling at Virginia Tech to open conference play in 2006-07. The Deacons are now 12-18 all-time in road ACC openers.
The Deacons are 14-14 in home ACC openers. Wake has opened conference play at home for each of the three previous seasons and four of the previous five years.
Wake Forest is now 8-9 all-time against NC State in ACC openers. The previous time the Deacons opened conference play at NC State came in 1996-97 when Wake earned a 53-45 win at Reynolds Coliseum.
What's Up Next...
Virginia Tech, who beat Florida State at home last weekend, plays at North Carolina on Thursday before hosting Wake Forest on Saturday.
The all-time series between Wake Forest and Virginia Tech is tied 26-26. The Hokies have won three straight in the series, including an 87-83 victory last season in Blacksburg.
Following the Virginia Tech game, Wake Forest will travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. The Yellow Jackets are 6-7 overall and 0-1 in the ACC entering their game at Clemson on Wednesday. Georgia Tech will host North Carolina on Sunday before welcoming in the Demon Deacons.
Wake Forest leads the all-time series with Georgia Tech, 36-33. The teams have split the season series each of the past two years, but the Deacons have lost six straight at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.