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December 6, 2008

Solid victory over Bucknell

Given the Demon Deacon soccer team's 5-0 victory in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, it would have taken some real fireworks for Wake's basketball game against Bucknell to be foremost on the mind of Wake Forest fans. Although it would have been nice to see a bit more of an impressive performance, the 81-52 win brings the Deacs to 8-0, and continuing improvement on defense and in the turnover department make it difficult to complain.

Jeff Teague led the way with 26 points, while Chas Mcfarland grabbed 7 rebounds and Ishmael Smith contributed 5 assists. After turning the ball over 24 times against Indiana, the team only had 11 tonight and no individual had more than 2.

"We really emphasized, in what time we had from the Indiana game, cutting down on our turnovers. We did a terrific job of that tonight with 11," said coach Dino Gaudio.

It's certainly impressive to get the point where a 29 point victory is nothing too special for this team. They are rolling along nicely and show no signs of slowing, as long as the upcoming exam break doesn't cause any problems. The team will take much of the next week off to allow the team plenty of preparation for their final exams.

Deacs fire from long distance

Midway through the second half the cheerleaders broke out the "Shoot two Deacs, shoot two" cheer, but the team wasn't listening. After averaging about 10 three point attempts per game Wake Forest fired 21 attempts from beyond the arc, making seven of them.

"We knew they were going to pack it in, but that is too many three's," said Gaudio. "One of the guys came off the floor and I said 'there is a reason you are wide open behind the three.' It's hard when you are wide open out there to not pull the trigger."

L.D. Williams makes highlight reel

With 7:10 left on the clock in the first half L.D. Williams got the ball all alone on a fast break. With no one around him L.D. went up and put down a monster windmill dunk that had that sent the team and the crowd into a frenzy.

"The guys said they were tired of seeing the same dunks over and over and wanted to see something different," said Williams. He definitely gave them what they wanted to see.

Lackluster statistics

Despite the sizeable margin of victory and the improvement in the turnover category, there were some less than impressive numbers in tonight's game as well. The team's 44% shooting from the field was only their third game below 50% and the second lowest of the season. 59% from the free throw line was also their second worst night of the year. Furthermore, due to Bucknell's slow pace of play Wake took their second fewest shots of the season with 66.

Al-Farouq Aminu has his lowest scoring output of the season with only 5 points, and seemed to struggle to find any kind of rhythm all night long.

Deep bench production

In 5 minutes of playing time late in the game freshman Ty Walker had two very impressive blocks. "The more he gets in the more comfortable he will be," said Gaudio. "I even want him to be more aggressive on defense because he can really block shots. I just want him going up and going after it. At the end of the game if we get a goal tend or something because he is trying to block a shot I will take that."

With Jimmy McQulikin getting into the final minute of tonight's game, all six walk-ons have seen playing time this season. Senior Mike Lepore even made a nice three pointer, which received the second loudest round of applause of the night, only behind L.D.'s dunk. It is always great to see the support the team and the crowd give the walk-ons. It's clear these guys really are a cohesive unit, and that should bode well for the team in the long run.


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