WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Deacs (5-1) shot themselves to a 86-74 win over Coastal Carolina Wednesday night at Joel Coliseum.
Coastal was even with the Deacs on the boards and outscored Wake 15-0 in second-chance points. Wake turned the ball over 14 times.
Shooting was the difference for the Deacs, as they hit 11-of-26 3-pointers (42.3%) and 21-of-24 foul shots (87.5%). If they shot with the (lack of) proficiency of last year’s team, 31.6 percent on 3-pointers and 66 percent from the line, they would have lost 74-72 to Coastal.
“Last year, we would have really had some problems winning this ballgame,” Manning said. “We don’t apologize for a win, but we have some work to do.”
Lethargic early, Wake held just a 5-2 lead at the first TV timeout.
A Bryant Crawford layup capped a five-minute 21-0 run by the Deacs opened the lead to 30-5 as Wake looked set to coast to a victory over the Chanticleers.
“I thought we started off the game doing some pretty good things,” Wake coach Danny Manning said. “We established a nice lead, and then after that we forgot to the do the things — no, we didn’t forget to the do the things, Coastal Carolina came and imposed their will. They decided the energy and effort level that they were going to play with.”
Crawford was one of four Deacs in double figures, finishing with 12 points and five assists against just one turnover.
But the Chants finished with a 11-3 run to close the Wake gap to 14 at halftime at 37-23. Coastal had missed 18 of their first 21 field goals, but converted 6 of their final 11 of the half.
“Once that lead started to evaporate, we didn’t play the way we needed to play to have any type of success,” Manning said.
Coastal cut the Wake lead to 10 early in the second half, and even a 3-pointer by Austin Arians to answer didn’t save the Wake starters from being pulled, as Manning subbed in five new players with 17:32 left in the game.
“They looked a little tired to me,” Manning said about the substitutions. “If you look tired, sit down. The saving grace for us is that we were able to make free throws.”
A 3-pointer by Coastal’s Elijah Wilson brought the Chants to within four at 44-40 with 14:56 left in the contest.
A spin move and finish down low by John Collins, followed by a pair of made Crawford foul shots, followed by a made 3-pointer by Mitchell Wilbekin stemmed the tide and gave the Deacs a double-digit lead that they largely sustained the rest of the way.
Collins finished with a double-double, scoring 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting while grabbing 13 boards.
Wilbekin added 14 points, going 3-for-6 behind the arc and a perfect 5-for-5 from the foul stripe.
Freshman guard Brandon Childress provided a lift for the Deacs, scoring 15 points while going 3-for-6 from the 3-point line while also hitting all four of his free throws. Childress has yet to miss a foul shot this season (15-for-15).
“All the guys that come off the bench, we feel can give us a spark offensively,” Manning said. “Tonight, it was Brandon’s night. He shot the ball well from the field, but can’t have four turnovers. He needs to make better decisions. He and Dinos had nine of our 14 turnovers.”
Dinos Mitoglou had 12 rebounds, but was 0-for-6 from the field and had five turnovers.
“It wasn’t his best outing,” Manning said.
The Deacs will have off tomorrow and have a big team Thanksgiving get-together scheduled. Manning said they will now continue their celebration the next day with two practices instead of just one.
“Oh. Yes. There. Are,” Manning said methodically when asked if there were teachable moments from the game Wednesday. “There are a lot of things. We will celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow and then we’ll come back the next day and go twice. We’ll get prepared for our next game.”
Wake returns to the court Monday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Northwestern (3-2).