WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - A pair of second-half runs helped guide the Wake Forest men's basketball team to a 77-74 victory over in-state foe NC State Sunday evening at the LJVM Coliseum. Devin Thomas registered his third-straight double-double, leading the Demon Deacons with 20 points and 11 rebounds in their first ACC win of the year.
The Deacons improved to 10-5 on the year with a 1-2 mark in conference play, while the Wolfpack fell to 10-6 overall and remained winless in league competition at 0-3. The Deacs' win was the eighth-straight by the home team in the series between the two schools.
Joining Thomas in double figures in points for Wake Forest were Bryant Crawford with 17, Konstantinos Mitoglou with 15 and Codi Miller-McIntyre with 11. Crawford also led the team with six assists and Mitoglou chipped in nine boards.
After a first half that saw the teams combined to shoot 30.2 percent (19-of-63) from the field, the scoring picked up in the second half.
Up by a score of 27-25 after the opening stanza, the Demon Deacons scored the first 13 points of the second half to jump in front by 15. Their lead was short-lived, however, as NC State began to heat up and reeled off a 21-4 run that included 16-consecutive points over a 3:50 stretch to regain the lead.
The Deacons wasted little time seizing the momentum back, using a Crawford 3-pointer to spark a 13-3 run that made it 57-49. The hosts were able to up their cushion to 66-55 before the Wolfpack battled back to cut the gap to five points.
With the score 68-63, the Deacs used another Crawford 3-pointer and a Thomas dunk to regain a double-digit lead. NC State made one final push, scoring 11 points in the final 49 seconds, but Crawford knocked down four free throws in that time to keep the Pack at bay and seal the win.
The Demon Deacons are now 8-0 in games decided by six or fewer points this season after going 5-6 in such contests a year ago. The Deacs have won their last four meetings against NC State at the Coliseum by a combined 10 points.
Wake Forest resumes play Wednesday with a trip to Virginia Tech. Opening tip in Blacksburg, Va. is slated for 9 p.m. The Deacs return home Saturday for a noon meeting with Syracuse.