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December 21, 2013

Wake too much for UNCG

Winston-Salem, NC - It was not King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans, but UNCG (6-7) never gave up nor surrendered; however, Wake Forest (10-2) led by Devin Thomas' 12 points and 13 rebounds found a way to overcome another bad start to win 59-51.

"Every win is a good win," Thomas said.

"We just played defense and got some extra stops. We didn't do a good job taking care of the ball, we had I think 14 turnovers and like five assists. We've got a lot to work on from this game and [a] lot to learn from this game, but a win is a win."

Turnovers were not the only area of concern for Wake, which also struggled to out-rebound the much smaller Spartans (41-40).

The Demon Deacons also had their worst performance from the free-throw line, a porous 13-30.

Wake Forest also struggled to protect the basketball, dishing out only five assists to 14 turnovers.

"Give Coach [Wes] Miller and UNCG players and staff a lot of credit," Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "They played extremely hard and played well. We were fortunate; we struggled."

"We were fortunate to win and we struggled offensively, but give UNCG a lot of credit for that. Fortunately we defended well enough to keep us where we were at least on top most of the game. It's our defense that really won us this basketball game."

Defense was the key to the game for Wake, as the Deacs held the Spartans to a meager 19-60 shooting from the field and 1-15 from three-point range.

The Demon Deacons withstood a furious UNCG rally that whittled their lead from 11 points down to two points with 6:49 remaining in regulation before they outscored the Spartans 15-9 the rest of the way.

Observations …

--- Codi Miller-McIntyre arguably had his worst game of the season. He 11 points (all in the second half), grabbed three rebounds, did not record a single assist and had an alarming five turnovers.

Despite his less than stellar output Miller-McIntyre was clutch at the end, scoring nine points in the final 5:20 to help keep UNCG at bay.

--- Bad, poor, slow, (insert adjective) starts have become the norm for Wake recently. The Deacs must fix this problem before the level of competition gets much tougher when they host No. 14 North Carolina to begin ACC play.

Post-game Q-&-A's …

Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik

On the slow start: "We weren't cutting hard, we weren't screening hard. I mean we only had five assists. We were holding the ball too much. Our bigs were trying to post too much. There was no flow. We turned the ball over with sloppy passes right out of the gate."

On free throws: "We got to the free throw line 30 times, but that was like a turnover."

Wake Forest forward Tyler Cavanaugh

On how to change the feel at the start of the game: "We got to make some shots. I mean that's what it comes down to. We've been starting off slow and I think it's a focus and energy thing. We just have to continue to work hard and push ourselves and I think we'll be ready for these upcoming games."

On what needs to be changed for the upcoming game against North Carolina: "Free-throw shooting. We got make more free throws. I mean we were 13 for 30 so when we get into an ACC game we got to start being around 70 to 75-percent cause if we miss them those are empty possessions and those hurt us."
Wake Forest guard Codi Miller-McIntyre

On why Wake played such strong defense tonight: "I believe we all just locked in. We knew the scouting report. We knew a lot of their plays and I believe this was one of the few games were everybody was locked in."


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