They always say that if you are able to hold serve at home and steal a couple on the road you will put yourself in a good position at the end of the season. And for this Wake Forest team, last week was the perfect example of that. Taking on Miami in front of a national audience on ESPN2, the Deacs were able to avenge the previous loss in Coral Gables and pick up a their fifth conference win of the season.
After dominating the first 10 minutes with a mixture of tenacious defense and efficient offense, the Demon Deacons let up a bit. The offense stalled and Miami's shooters started to get hot. But after the lead got down to three deep in the second half, Wake regrouped and was able to close out the ‘Canes, winning 62-53. Ishmael Smith had another well-rounded game, with 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists, but Miami was able to hold Al-Farouq Aminu in check with a lot of double teams, keeping him to only six points.
Then the snow came. And luckily for the Demon Deacons, they were able to get down to Charlottesville on Thursday before the storm hit. Not only was the game to be played, but there was bonus time in store. Virginia came out hot in the first half and Wake's defense bent, but after a nice push late in the first half, Wake got the lead down to five. In a see-saw battle throughout the second half, the closing seconds had some controversy as freshman Ari Stewart went up for a shot and had his arm grabbed, but there was no call.
He would come right back and hit a three after the start of overtime and the Deacs didn't let up, winning by a final score of 64-61. Despite hitting just 11 of 23 free throws on the night and 3-12 from long range, Wake's defense set the tone once again, as UVA shot 21% in the second half. Wake has two home matchups this week, with a game against a short-handed BC team on Tuesday followed by a rematch against Georgia Tech on Saturday night.
After a huge upset of 20th ranked Virginia on the 31st, the Lady Deacs had a fall from grace, getting blown out by No. 12 Florida State on Sunday, 83-38. Wake shot 21% on the game, and an atrocious 1 for 24 from beyond the arc. Wake finished the game with 29 turnovers and allowed the Noles to shoot 56% on the night. The Deacs are hoping to bounce back against Maryland on Thursday. The game is a "Think Pink" game for breast cancer awareness. Wake is also starting a special promotion that gives fans the chance to order $1 tickets for the remaining home games if they are bought in blocks of 10 or more.
Both the men's and women's golf teams are in action, even if the weather isn't cooperating in the area. The women's team is out in California playing in the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, and freshman Michelle Shin has started off in a big way. She led the Deacs on day one and the team posted a team 298, good for sixth place thus far.
On the men's side, it was ugly, but Wake was able to put themselves in third place behind the performance of senior Brendan Gielow, who was just one shot off the lead after Monday's play. The team will finish their second round and move right into the third on Tuesday.
After a short break, the Wake men's tennis team is back in action on the 13th when they travel to William & Mary. The Deacs, after splitting a weekend series, defeating Minnesota, but falling to Kentucky, are 1-1 on the year and will move onto Richmond to play VCU on Valentine's Day.
The women's tennis team had a rough weekend, dropping decisions to both DePaul and Indiana. Wake is dealing with a lot of injuries right now and hopes to get healthy with a nice little break that sees them returning to play on Feb. 20. The bright spot for the Deacs was the play of junior Emilee Malvehy, who won both of her singles matches on the weekend. Wake fell to 3-4 with the losses.