WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Deacs led Piedmont 28-20 as the teams huddled for the second TV timeout.
The Deacs were scoring at a good clip, but the problem was Josh Howard’s Bruins were as well.
Wake coach Danny Manning had one message during that break — start playing defense.
The Deacs listened.
They held the Bruins to just one field goal the rest of the first half and went on a 35-5 run to take a 63-25 lead at the half.
They never looked back in a 118-48 win Friday night at Joel Coliseum.
“Before the timeout,” Manning said when asked if that was the topic of discussion. “They came down and executed their offense well and found a comfort zone.
“That’s something we talked about. We don’t want teams to come in and get comfortable on our court.”
“That was the main point,” Wake grad transfer Austin Arians said. “That was the only point. We had to get stops, especially with our size advantage. The game shouldn’t have been that close at that point, and he (Manning) told us we needed to take that as a challenge and take it personally.”
The Deacs came out with a bit more fire on defense after that timeout. They held Piedmont to 1-of-16 shooting the rest of the half. The outsized and outmanned Bruins shot 23.5 percent for the game.
There were several stars offensively for Wake, with seven players notching double-figure scoring led by Doral Moore’s 17 points on eight dunks.
Junior forward Dinos Mitoglou didn’t shoot particularly well, going 1-for-3 behind the arc and 6-for-11 from the foul stripe, but finished second with 15 points. He added eight rebounds.
Freshman Brandon Childress shined in his first opportunity at a Deacs, finishing with 13 points and eight assists. Point guard play was stellar, as he combined with sophomore Bryant Crawford for 12 assists against just one turnover.
John Collins and Sam Japhet-Mathias each had 12 points, Mitchell Wilbekin chipped in 11 and Keyshawn Woods scored 10. Woods also led the team with 11 rebounds on the night, a category the Deacs won 67-35.
Fifteen Deacs saw the floor, and all but Anthony Bilas and Greg McClinton hit the scoring column. McClinton played just three first-half minutes and didn’t return. When asked why after the game, Manning said it was just a coaching decision.
The Deacs get started for real at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Radford, a Big South Conference team who finished 16-15 last season. Last year, the Highlanders had early-season non-conference wins over Georgetown and Penn State. They lost at home 74-65 to Virginia Tech from the ACC.