Wake Forest should have plenty of motivation when it hosts Liberty on Tuesday, given how the weekend felt after the Demon Deacons were shocked at home by Georgia Southern in a disappointing 85-83 defeat in Friday’s season opener. And there was one resounding theme following the game, a contest in which the Demon Deacons gave up 15 offensive rebounds and 47.8 percent shooting from the field.
“We’ve got to get better on defense,” Wake Forest guard Keyshawn Woods told reporters after his game-high 25 points was not enough, on a night where the Demon Deacons led for more than 35 minutes. “We’ve got to get stops. We let their guards control the game the whole time.” The Demon Deacons bobbled an inbound pass in the final seconds, negating a combined 65 points from Woods, Bryant Crawford and Chaundee Brown. After Tuesday, Wake Forest heads to the Paradise Jam to face Drake on Friday. Liberty started its season in much better fashion, building a 30-point halftime lead en route to an 87-42 victory Friday over Division III Clarks Summit.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ACC Network Extra
ABOUT LIBERTY (1-0): Lovell Cabbil scored 14 points to lead the Flames in the opener, hitting 9-of-11 free-throw attempts. Isaiah Williams and Ezra Talbert added 13 points each in the victory. Liberty finished 21-14 last season, reaching the CIT tournament quarterfinals, and the Flames were predicted to finish third in the Big South Conference’s preseason poll.
ABOUT WAKE FOREST (0-1): Brown, a highly regarded prospect, scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting with nine rebounds in his collegiate debut. Graduate transfer Terrence Thompson (Marshall) finished just shy of a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds but senior guard Mitchell Wilbekin did not score, missing all seven of his shots from the field. Wake Forest shot just 37.9 percent from the field in the second half.
1. Wake Forest freshman C Olivier Sarr (hand injury) did not play Friday and his status is unknown for Tuesday.
2. The Demon Deacons have not started a season 0-2 since 1979-80.
3. Wake Forest allowed 25 second-chance points Friday.
PREDICTION: Wake Forest 81, Liberty 62