WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Wake Forest forward Devin Thomas made his first 10 shots from the field and guard Codi Miller-McIntyre scored six points in the last two minutes as the Demon Deacons beat Notre Dame 65-58 on Saturday at Joel Coliseum.
Thomas finished with 21 points, forward Travis McKie scored 14 and reserve guard Coron Williams added 11 for the Demon Deacons (14-6, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who eclipsed last season’s win total and already have their most victories in any of coach Jeff Bzdelik’s four seasons.
Center Garrick Sherman led the Fighting Irish with 20 points, while guard Eric Atkins added 13 and guard Pat Connaughton had 10.
Atkins missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 18 seconds left before Wake Forest tacked on free throws.
First-year league member Notre Dame (11-9, 2-5), which has lost five of its last six games overall, was denied its first ACC road victory. The Irish held a brief lead with less than 2 1/2 minutes left.
Notre Dame guard Demetrius Jackson tied the game at 53-53 with 3:50 remaining by making 1 of 2 foul shots for his first point.
Shortly after, Notre Dame called its final timeout with 2:25 left. Sherman made a free throw for a 54-53 lead.
Then Miller-McIntyre went to work with a drive for a basket, two free throws and a short jumper. He had only two points until the final two minutes.
Williams scored eight points in a three-minute stretch as the Demon Deacons built a 47-41 lead with 10:09 to go.
Wake Forest, which hadn’t won consecutive games since mid-December, has won 13 in a row at home, including all 12 home outings this season.
It was the best offensive outing for Thomas since he went 11 of 15 in a 23-point performance in the opener against Colgate. He missed his final attempt against Notre Dame.
By scoring the last five points of the first half and the first four points of the second half, Notre Dame pulled even at 25-25.
Even though Sherman went to the bench with his third foul at the 17:11 mark, forward Tom Knight’s basket off a rebound sent Notre Dame to a 35-33 edge.
Sherman’s fourth foul came on an illegal screen with 8:04 left and the Irish trailing 49-43.
The Irish entered the game having lost their first four road games for the first time in 20 years.
Notre Dame trailed at halftime 25-21, its lowest score in any half of the season.
Thomas had 11 points by the time Wake Forest built a 25-16 edge with 3:40 left in the first half.
Notre Dame was in an 0-of-9 stretch from the field until Atkins drained a 3-pointer. Wake Forest failed to score on its last five possessions of the first half.
There were only a total of two fouls called in the game’s first 12 minutes.
NOTES: This was only the second all-time meeting between the teams, and they won’t meet again during the regular season. Wake Forest won the other matchup in March 2000 in the championship game of the National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York. … Wake Forest was the only ACC school that Notre Dame coach Mike Brey had not faced as a head coach. … Freshman guards Steve Vasturia of Notre Dame and Miles Overton of Wake Forest were high school teammates at St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia. … Four of Notre Dame’s next five games are at home, beginning with Virginia on Tuesday night. … Wake Forest, which began a three-game homestand, has another ACC newcomer for its next game when No. 2 Syracuse visits Wednesday night.
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