Wake Forest aims to continue ascent vs. Notre Dame

·2 min read
sNCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at Pittsburgh

Wake Forest has reason to be feeling good after a recent stretch. Notre Dame might be riding an even bigger high.

The teams meet Tuesday when Wake Forest travels to South Bend, Ind.

Notre Dame has won three of its past four games, including perhaps its best outing of the season with Saturday night's 84-58 shellacking of host Pittsburgh.

So now the outlook for the Irish (6-9, 3-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) might be changing.

"We've got a chance to get four of five if we win Tuesday at home and things can get interesting," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.

Wake Forest (5-7, 2-7) has yet to win a road game this season, but the Demon Deacons have won two of their past three games overall. Wake Forest used 13 baskets from 3-point range to account for a majority of its offense in a 66-54 win over Miami on Saturday.

Still, it was largely the Demon Deacons' defense that looked better. Coach Steve Forbes said some of that was connected to the offense, which was charged with only 11 turnovers.

"We were able to set our defense," Forbes said. "When you don't have all those turnovers, you're not playing disadvantaged defense, you're playing 5-on-5, and I thought that was really important."

The outcome marked only the sixth time in the last 10 seasons that Wake Forest held an ACC opponent to less than 55 points.

Daivien Williamson has led Wake Forest in scoring in consecutive games. Yet it's the variety of offense that might benefit the Demon Deacons the most.

Forward Ismael Massoud, who racked up 31 points in the triumph against Pittsburgh, and guard Jonah Antonio were held scoreless against Miami. Others picked up the slack, including with guard Carter Whitt matching his career high with 11 points.

"I thought we did a really good job of sharing the ball, and we changed up our offense a little bit with more screening and cutting," Forbes said. "I thought that put a little bit more pressure on the rim."

Notre Dame has tapped various offensive sources as well. Cormac Ryan posted a personal-best 19 points with five 3s at Pittsburgh.

Brey, though, said the Irish have taken strides on defense. He said there's a seven-player rotation that seems to work well.

"We kind of put it all together," Brey said. "... With those seven guys, that's a nice rotation of guys who know who they are. This has been just a cool group of kids. They're not too high when they win."

--Field Level Media