The DePaul men's basketball team never trailed in Wednesday's game at Allstate Arena. The Blue Demons jumped out to a 12-2 lead, with 10 points coming from super sophomore Wilson Chandler, before Wake knew what had hit them at just over 4 minutes into the game.
DePaul never looked back in this one as the seemed to erupt on emotion and adrenaline.
Chandler led all scorers with 24 points. Senior guard Sammy Mejia recorded his fifth career double-double on a season high 23 points and 12 rebounds. Mejia also led the Demons in assists with five. Junior center Wesley Green contributed 10 points off the bench against his father's alma mater and recorded a career high four steals.
"I thought DePaul really set the tone," said Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser. "I have yet to impress on our players the level of intensity or physicality we're going to face with a Big East team in their arena," Prosser said. "In the first half we played too fast at times with 10 turnovers right out of the gate."
6-11 Kyle Visser led the way for Wake Forest with 20 points and eight rebounds. Anthony Gurley came off the bench to contribute 14 points for the Deacs.
DePaul held Wake to 38.2% shooting from the field.
The Blue Demons are undefeated in four games at home and 5-5 overall. After a heartbreaking one point overtime loss at UAB, this game was important to the Blue Demons. "It was huge," Mejia said. "We did a good job of bouncing back. We didn't let that get to us. A lot of us could have done a lot of things better in the UAB game, we still lost by one in overtime. We were still in there. I'm excited about the way we played today."
For DePaul, Chandler & Mejia were the show on both ends of the floor. "Certainly our two best players played the way they can," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. "They were really good. They're our two best defensive players. I was really pleased how both kids got after it especially on the defensive end."
Wake's defense created some opportunities for the 6-8 Chandler inside. "They denied us real high on the wings, so they created a lot of backcuts and backdoors," said Chandler. "They just threw me good lob passes."
Chandler's teammate agreed. "When Wilson Chandler is roaming around back there, a lot of good things are going to happen," said Mejia.
"I thought we played with some fun and enthusiasm tonight," said Wainwright. "A lot of our players are instinctive and they're getting to play with each other better. We had 25 assists, that's terrific, on 33 baskets. I thought tonight our passing was real good."
200 Wins Ball
Before the game, Wainwright was awarded with a ball to honor his 200th win which came against Chaminade at the Maui Invitational. After the game, Wainwright gave the ball to his mentor Norm Goodman, who coached at East Leyden High School.
Game Notes from DePaul Sports Information
DePaul has defeated Wake Forest in two consecutive meetings. The all-time series now stands at 2-2… Jerry Wainwright is now 2-5 against the Demon Deacons, he spent nine seasons as an assistant coach at Wake Forest... tonight's win was DePaul's sixth consecutive home victory dating back to last season, the current streak is the Blue Demons' longest since a streak of 12 consecutive home wins from Dec. 1, 2004 – February 26, 2005… DePaul's 46-27 (19 point) halftime lead was the largest of the season… Wilson Chandler scored a season-high 24 points and led the Blue Demons in scoring for the sixth time this season… Chandler scored DePaul's first eight points and ten of the team's first 12… Sammy Mejia's 37 minutes put him over the 3,000 career minute mark, he became the 14th player in school history to log 3,000 minutes of court time and the first since Quemont Greer, who finished with 3,218 from 2001-05… Mejia tied his season-high 23 points and grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds… Mejia's double-double is his first of the season and the fifth of his career… Wesley Green went 2-2 from behind the three-point arc and is now 4-4 in his career from three-point range… Green also had a career-high four steals… Thijin Moses has made a three-pointer in his last four games played and has made six of his last seven three-point attempts.
Official Box Score
DePaul Erupts in 78-63 Win Over Wake Forest
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