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Deacs Down No. 8 Blue Devils in Front of Sellout Home Crowd

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Playing back at home for the second time this week in front of an electric, sellout home crowd of 14,744 fans, Wake Forest men’s basketball (18-9, 10-6) finished victorious over No. 8 Duke (21-6, 12-4) on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 24), capturing an 83-79 victory inside Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Tracing back to December 21, 2022, the Demon Deacons have now won two consecutive home games versus Duke for the first time since 2008-09. The weekend win also marked the highest-ranked victory for Wake Forest since the 113-101 overtime win over the No. 7 Blue Devils on Feb. 25, 2020.

Saturday’s home crowd of 14,744 marked the highest attendance at a Wake Forest home game in the Steve Forbes era and the first sellout at LJVM Coliseum since Jan. 28, 2017.

Wake Forest now holds an impressive 46-5 record at home since the start of the 2021-22 season including a perfect 15-0 mark at home. The Deacons’ overall wins since the start of the 2021-22 season rank tied for second in the country and leads the ACC during that time frame.

Hunter Sallis had a monster performance of 29 points, making all but two field goal attempts (11-of-13). The junior guard added six rebounds and tied his career high in threes made, ending with five.

Andrew Carr finished with 18 points, going 8-of-14 from the floor, and dished out four assists.

Kevin Miller chipped in 15 points and a game-high five assists. Cameron Hildreth made a handful of big plays in the second half to contribute 12 points and four rebounds. He again reached the charity stripe a number of times, going 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.

A week of road competition takes place next for Wake Forest, starting with a Midwest trip to Notre Dame for a Tuesday night (Feb. 27) contest. Tip off is set for 9 p.m. ET and will air on ACC Network.

How It Happened

  • Sallis got the Deacs on the board first with a baseline jumper for the 2-0 lead.
    • On the next possession he hit a layup for the 4-2 lead. 
  • Miller found Reid in the paint on the next play to keep Wake in front early.
  • Out of the timeout, Sallis drove the baseline again for the 9-7 lead.
    • Sallis started the game with six of the first nine Wake Forest points.
  • Miller found Marsh under the basket for a slam to keep Wake within four with 11:23 to play in the first half. 
  • Out of the timeout, Miller found the basket on back-to-back possessions to get Wake within three. 
  • The next two times down the court Sallis hit a three from Reid and Miller hit a three from Sallis for the 22-21 Wake Forest lead.
  • Wake got back within one out of the timeout when Carr found Reid under the basket for a quick two. 
  • A fadeaway jumper from Sallis tied it at 26 with 5:45 to go in the half.
    • Two free throws from Miller kept it tied at 28.
  • A three from the top of the key from Sallis kept Wake within two, 34-32. 
  • Carr kept the team within two with a putback off a Hildreth jumper. 
  • Wake Forest went into halftime down two, 38-36.
    • Sallis went 6-of-7 from the field for a game-high 14 first-half points.
    • Sallis also led all players with five first half rebounds. 
  • Wake started the second half with a layup from Sallis and a three from Carr for the 41-40 lead.
  • Another bucket from Carr kept Wake in front, 43-42.
  • Sallis hit his fourth three of the game for the 46-43 lead with 16:50 to play.
  • A jumper from Reid in the lane and Sallis’ fifth three-pointer kept Wake in front and gave them their largest lead of the game, 51-46.
  • A turnaround jumper from Carr in the lane kept Wake ahead, 53-50.
  • Out of the timeout, Hildreth ended a Wake drought with a driving layup to close the gap to two, 58-56.
  • On the next possession Carr tied it up at 58 when Reid found him under the basket for a quick two points. 
  • Wake scored on the third straight possession again by Carr when Hildreth found him in the lane to keep it tied at 60.
  • Sallis scored for Wake on the fourth-straight possession to keep it tied at 62 with 8:55 to play.
  • After Reid got the defensive board, Hildreth hit a free throw for the 63-62 Wake Forest lead.
  • Sallis got to 27 points with a jumper from the top of the lane for the 65-64 lead.
    • Miller hit two free throws to keep the one-point lead, 67-66, with 6:25 left to play. 
  • A corner three from Carr put Wake back in front on the next possession, 70-69.
  • A steal from Hildreth led to an open three for Hildreth and the 73-69 Wake Forest lead with 4:10 left to play. 
  • Two free throws from Hildreth out of the timeout kept Wake in front, 75-72.
  • Carr hit a bucket off a baseline out-of-bounds for the 77-72 Wake Forest lead with 2:20 remaining. 
  • Hildreth again hit two free throws to keep the Deacs in front by multiple scores, 79-74, with 1:47 left to play.
  • A steal and layup from Miller and a Duke turnover put Wake up 81-76 with the ball with less than a minute to go. 
  • Duke hit one final triple, but Sallis was able to put the game away at the free-throw line.
  • Wake Forest defeated No. 8 Duke, 83-79.

Stats of the Game

  • Saturday’s home crowd of 14,744 marked the highest attendance at a Wake Forest home game in the Steve Forbes era and the first sellout at LJVM Coliseum since Jan. 28, 2017.
  • Wake Forest performed efficiently as a group, posting game clips of 60.4 percent from the field and  52.9 percent from three-point territory.
  • Hunter Sallis continued his streak of 27 consecutive games to open his Wake Forest career with double-digit scoring, as the junior paced the Deacs with 29 points on an incredible 11-of-13 shooting from the floor and 5-of-6 from three in addition to six rebounds.
  • In addition to Sallis, three other Deacons recorded 12 or more points versus the Blue Devils:

Key Moment

Late in the second half, Wake Forest was able to step in front of the Blue Devils before the final under-4 media timeout, led by team captains Andrew Carr and Cameron Hildreth.

  • Down 69-67, Carr first put the Deacs ahead with a left-corner triple.
  • Hildreth got a key defensive stop on a steal and made a corner three himself, happening from the opposite side of the half-court, to extend the Wake Forest advantage to 73-69.
  • Stepping back onto the floor after the timeout break, Hildreth smartly drew contact at the rim and swished in two makes from the free-throw line.
  • Carr followed with an inside finish, and Wake Forest found itself leading 77-72 with 2:39 remaining on the clock.

Coach’s Comments

“Everybody was treated to an unbelievable game played by two really good teams at a really high level today. It was the best atmosphere we’ve had since I’ve been here, and probably in a long time. Credit to our fans and students for showing up and being loud. I give a lot of credit to Duke. I mean, John’s got a team playing at a high level. Their guards are very hard to guard off the bounce, and they pour in those threes on you. It’s just tough.

“Also, Flip, he’s a handful – he can score from three, you can post up you know, it’s why he’s probably a top-10 draft pick. I didn’t see what happened at the end. You know, I hope he’s okay. I don’t like court stormings – never have been a part of those before. As a coach, they just don’t feel safe. I’m sure the next time that happens, we’ll do a better job of taking care of that situation.

“I gotta give a lot of credit to my team. They just stayed resilient for the whole game. The second half was a knock down drag out. We made shots. I mean, Hunter was at a high level the whole game. He’s a special player and played an unbelievable second half on both sides of the ball. Boopie was getting to the rim. Andrew was solid. We talked about transition points. We did a good job there. Offensive rebounds – I think they only had four in the second half. We switched Boston coverages the whole game. We went drop blitz switch, made a couple bad decisions late. Heck of a game and I’m really proud of my team.”  – head coach Steve Forbes

Up Next

A week of road competition takes place next for Wake Forest, starting with a Midwest trip to Notre Dame for a Tuesday night (Feb. 27) contest. Tip off is set for 9 p.m. ET and will air on ACC Network.






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