Wake Forest falls to NC State in Raleigh

Raleigh, NC – Despite a late second half comeback, the Deacs fell to NC State 72-67 on Wednesday night at PNC Arena. 

photo courtesy of WFU SID

Trailing by 18 points, Wake Forest (4-7, 1-7 ACC) furiously made their way back into the contest after outscoring the Wolfpack (7-5, 3-4 ACC) 33-20 over the final 11 minutes, notably cutting the deficit down to 67-62 with 35 seconds left in the game. 

Turnovers were problematic for both teams throughout the game but the Deacs’ defense forced  19 Wolfpack turnovers, their most against ACC opponents this year. 

Junior Daivien Williamson led Wake Forest in scoring with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including four makes from deep. The Winston-Salem native scored 20 of his 22 in the second half and has now led the Deacs in scoring five times this season. 

Williamson and sophomore Jahcobi Neath combined to score 24 points and drain six triples during the late-game rally. Overall, Neath netted eight points and connected on a career high-tying two triples. 

Ismael Massoud and Ody Oguama also scored in double-figures for the Deacs, with 13 and 11 points respectively. Massoud grabbed seven rebounds to lead Wake Forest on the boards. 

How It Happened

  • Under one minute into the contest, Massoud opened up scoring for the Deacs with his first 3-pointer. Moments later, he hit his second triple to give Wake Forest an early 8-2 lead with 17:37 remaining. 
  • Oguama knocked down two free throws to push Wake Forest’s lead to five (13-8) with 15:08 remaining.
  • The Wolfpack went on a scoring run for the rest of the half and the Deacs entered halftime trailing 32-21.
    • Wake Forest (13) and NC State (13) each entered intermission with double-digit turnovers.
  • After NC State pushed their lead to 40-25 early in the second half, the Deacs responded with a quick 5-0 run capped off by a Williamson layup to cut NC State’s lead to ten (40-30) with 15:30 left.
  • Massoud ended a 7-0 Wolfpack run with a layup that cut the deficit down to 47-32 with 13:27 remaining. 
  • After NC State built an 18-point lead (52-34), their largest of the game, the Deacs responded with a 9-1 run to make it a 10-point game (53-43) with 6:59 remaining thanks to Neath’s first triple of the night and baskets from Williamson and Oguama.
  • Daivien Williamson’s first 3-pointer of the night capped off a 9-0 run that trimmed a 15-point Wolfpack lead down to six (58-52) with just over four minutes remaining.  
  • After NC State built the lead back up to 10, Williamson knocked down his second triple to cut the Wolfpack lead to 62-55 with 2:06 remaining. 
  • Williamson connected on his third consecutive three-pointer to cut the lead back down to six (64-58) with 1:09 remaining. 
  • Neath hit a layup that cut the deficit to five (65-60) with 54 seconds left in the game. 
  • Williamson’s layup brought the Wolfpack lead back down to five (67-62) with 36 seconds remaining, but the Deacs fell to NC State 72-67.

Key Moment

After trailing 15 points (58-43) with 5:33 remaining, the Deacs embarked on a 9-0 run featuring triples from Jahcobi Neath and Daivien Williamson and three made-free throws from Ody Oguama.

That run cut the Wolfpack lead to six (58-52), their lowest since the 9:55 mark of the first half (21-15), and brought the Deacs squarely back into the game. 

Stat of the Game

  • Daivien Williamson is the first Demon Deacon to score 22 points, grab three steals, and make four triples against an ACC opponent since Jeff Teague scored 27 points, grabbed three steals, and made four triples against Boston College on Feb. 8th, 2009. 

Straight From Forbes

“Give credit to NC State, we came out at the beginning of the game and…we were very tentative, didn’t want to drive it up against pressure taking on the trap, and they got steals. It’s impossible to win basketball games turning the ball over 21 times, I don’t care who you’re playing. Then we had a lot of miscommunication on defense in the first half. Credit goes to NC State for sticking with their plan and trying to get the ball in the middle of the court against the ball screens and for the most part they did. When they didn’t, we did a pretty good job of defending. But for the most part of the game, they got where they wanted to be. Really the whole issue here is what I said before would be a problem, turnovers. 

I’m just going to have to try to help them more, I’ve got to do a better job. The scheme is the same I’ve been using for years, but it’s obviously not working. So I’ve got to figure out a way to help them against pressure when we’re reluctant to handle and we’re reluctant to pass.”  

Wednesday’s Starters
Wake Forest
●#1 Isaiah Mucius
●#4 Daivien Williamson
●#20 Jonah Antonio
●#25 Ismael Massoud
●#33 Ody Oguama

NC State
●#4 Jericole Hellems
●#5 Thomas Allen
●#10 Braxton Beverly
●#15 Manny Bates
●#24 Devon Daniels

Team Highlights
●The Deacs ranked 17th in the nation in defensive steal percentage entering Sunday (8.2per game):
○vs. Delaware State (20)
○vs. Longwood (10)
○vs. Catawba (7)
○at Georgia Tech (9)
○at Virginia (4)
○at Duke (7)
○vs. Louisville (4)
○vs. Virginia Tech (10)
○at North Carolina (5)
○vs. Pitt (6)
○at NC State (8)
●The Deacs came into Wednesday’s game third in the ACC (behind Clemson and GeorgiaTech) in turnover percentage, forcing their opponents to 14.6 a game.○Forced 19 turnovers at NC State
●Wake Forest held the fourth-best 3-point FG percentage defense in the league coming into Saturday’s game, holding teams to .323 percent from behind the arc.○That mark is behind Pitt (.282), Syracuse (.299) and Louisville (.322)
●Wake Forest holds the fourth spot in the league for free throw percentage at .761 and went 11-15 from the line Wednesday.
○Virginia – . 805
○Syracuse – .793
○Notre Dame – .783
○Wake Forest – .761
○Clemson – .746

Individual Highlights
●Sophomore forward Ishmael Massoud had a team-high seven rebounds and added 13points.
●Sophomore forward Ody Oguama had his third double-digit scoring night, adding 11points and four rebounds to the stat sheet.
●Junior guard Daivien Williamson had his second 20+ point game this season with a team-high 22 points, with 20 in the second half.
○He is the first Demon Deacon to score 22 points, grab three steals, and make four triples against an ACC opponent since Jeff Teague scored 27 points, grabbed three steals, and made four triples against Boston College on Feb. 8th, 2009.

Up Next

Wake Forest will return to Lawrence Joel Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum on Saturday for an afternoon matchup against Miami. 

Tip-off against the Hurricanes is set for 2 p.m. and the game will broadcast on ACC Network.