ACC Basketball

Notre Dame never had a prayer against Wake

The season ended appropriately for the Fighting Irish…with a loss.

Wake Forest ended Notre Dame’s season with a 81-69 win in the ACC Tournament’s first round one game. The 12-point margin could have been much wider if Demon Deacons didn’t treat the basketball like it was  laced with gonorrhea (15 turnovers). Wake Forest did mange to lead by double digits for most of the second half, before the Irish got back within six late. However, the Irish whiffed at two missed Wake Forest free throws late and the Demons were able to rebuild their lead in the final minute.

While senior Travis McKie did his part to actually end Wake’s season, hitting just 1-5 shots, struggling on the defensive end, Devin Thomas, Amaud-Williams Adala Moto and Coron Williams shot a solid 16-22 from the floor, chipping in 20 free throws for a combined total of 56 points.

Wake Forest ended up nailing seven of 10 shots from deep, led by Williams, a transfer from Robert Morris, who hit four of five and finished with a game high 25 points. However, the real difference maker was Thomas. He summoned his inner-Marshawn Lynch and went into beast mode, controlling the paint with a string of strong moves inside. He finished with 10 rebounds and five assists.

Notre Dame game plan to get the ball inside the paint and dominate, but they missed way too many easy buckets at or near the rim, particularly Garrick Sherman, who took a team high 13 shots. Of course it didn’t help that they allowed the worst rebounding team in the ACC to have a +10 advantage on the boards, while letting them hit 61-percent of their shots.

Zach Auguste and Pat Connaughton did their best to keep the Fighting Irish in it. Connaughton led the team with 19 points, but Auguste in particular was nearly unstoppable in the second half. He finished with 14 points, nine rebounds.

This was Wake Forest’s first ACC Tournament win since 2007 and they will face off against Pittsburgh Thursday. On the flip side, this was Mike Brey’s first losing season.

Welcome to the Atlantic Coast Conference, Irish.


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