Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers; 20 of them, in fact. Saturday night’s 96-77 loss to Louisville on the road marks the seventh straight loss for the Demon Deacons. Wake has dropped four of the last five in-conference matchups by at least 10 points, and this loss to the Cardinals makes it eight total losses in ACC play.
The Demon Deacons started off the game strong, jumping out to a quick 17-8 lead roughly seven minutes into the first half. However, Wake’s nine-point lead proved to be insufficient, as Louisville’s 19-2 run not only put them ahead by eight with 7:07 left in the first half but also secured their lead until the final buzzer. Trailing by nine to a Louisville team that was hungry for a win after suffering a tough loss to Miami in overtime, the Demon Deacons had to start off the second half even stronger than they did in the first. Although it wasn’t enough to bring the Wake Forest a much-needed victory, Freshman guard Chaundee Brown stepped up big in the absence of Senior guard Mitchell Wilbekin. Brown put a great offensive performance on display, shooting 8-10 from the field for 20 points in just 25 minutes of play. Despite the ugly aspects of this loss, it is great to see the true Freshman make significant progress, as well as adjusting to—and succeeding at— the level of ACC play.
Unfortunately, 11 of Wake’s 20 turnovers in this game occurred in the second half. This marks the second game in a row with at least 20 turnovers for the Demon Deacons, the first being last Tuesday night’s loss at home to Duke. If Wake is going to win games moving forward, taking care of the ball is the first issue that must be addressed. The shots have been falling and rebounds are no issue with 7’1” Doral Moore at the rim, but now the pieces just need to come together.
This upcoming Wednesday night at the Joel, the Demon Deacons will look to put this seven-game losing streak behind them in a conference matchup with an impressive Florida State team that is currently riding a three-game win streak.