Wake Forest appears to have built some momentum following a long losing streak, and Georgia Tech hopes to do the same Saturday when the Atlantic Coast Conference foes meet in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Demon Deacons (16-9, 8-6 ACC) ended January with a four-game slide that included two-point defeats to Pitt, NC State and Duke. They bounced back with a 17-point triumph over Notre Dame last weekend and followed it up Tuesday with a solid 92-85 home win over North Carolina.
Tyree Appleby led the way against the Tar Heels with a season-high 35 points, including an ACC-record 23 points at the free-throw line on 28 attempts. He also scored his 2,000th career point.
“Obviously, Ty Appleby had an incredible night,” Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes said. “He’s an incredible competitor. The one time I took him out, they went on a 6-0 run and I had to call timeout just to get him back in.”
Damari Monsanto chipped in 16 points for the Demon Deacons, who had only five turnovers, with no more than one from any individual player.
“Tonight we had five turnovers and they only got four points off turnovers,” Forbes said. “I would say that was a big reason why we won.”
The Yellow Jackets (9-15, 2-12) also enter on a high note after snapping a nine-game losing streak in dramatic fashion. Lance Terry put back an offensive rebound at the buzzer for a 70-68 win over Notre Dame.
“I’m really proud of our young men. The guys left it all on the floor,” Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said. “We’ve continued to fight and scrap and obviously things haven’t always gone our way, but it’s been good to break through the barrier and get this win.”
Terry led the team with 19 points, while Ja’von Franklin pitched in with 16 points and nine rebounds. Miles Kelly, who averages a team-high 12.9 points on the season, was held to four in 21 quiet minutes.
Wake Forest won last season’s meeting 80-64 after losing the previous five matchups in the series.
–Field Level Media