Raleigh, NC - A pair of road losses put a damper on Wake Forest's outstanding start. Traveling to the RBC Center may not make it easy to bounce back.
The seventh-ranked Demon Deacons, whose ACC title hopes took a hit last week, look to beat North Carolina State on the road for the first time in nearly four years Wednesday night.
Oddsmakers from Online Sportsbook Sportsbook.com have made the Wake Forest -6 point spread favorites for Wednesday’s game against the NC State. Current College Basketball Public Betting Information shows that 86% of more than 205 bets for this game have been placed on the Wake Forest -6.
It took a home game for Wake Forest (18-3, 5-3) to recover from two road losses. The Demon Deacons routed Boston College 93-76 on Sunday after falling 76-74 at Georgia Tech on Jan. 31 and 79-52 at Miami last Wednesday.
Wake Forest, once the No. 1 team in the nation, entered its matchup with the Eagles having lost three of four overall following its school-record 16-0 start.
"We were really a confident group, but after two losses - we're young, and people got down on each other," guard Jeff Teague said. "But we got back together this week, and we're doing pretty well. We've got that confidence to go into N.C. State and get it done."
Wake Forest will need some moxie entering this contest. The Demon Deacons have lost three straight road games against the Wolfpack (12-9, 2-6) since a 55-53 win on March 6, 2005.
Wake Forest desperately needs to take some momentum from its last contest if it hopes to end that skid. The Demon Deacons defended well and got two of their top scorers back on track versus Boston College.
Top scorer Teague and impressive freshman forward Al-Farouq Aminu were on target after struggling in recent games.
Teague, second in the ACC with 20.9 points per game, had 27 versus the Eagles. The sophomore guard had 20 points or more in five straight games, but finished in the teens his last three contests before breaking out against BC.
Aminu had 26 points after a four-point performance against the Hurricanes. Aminu, averaging 13.2 points, reached 20 for the first time in ACC play.
"We've got to remember who we are," coach Dino Gaudio said. "We're a defensive team, hard-nosed. On offense, we are a fast-break, inside-scoring basketball team, and we've got to be a good rebounding team.
"You're constantly evolving, you're constantly changing and this thing, as we know, it's a marathon. You know what? We're running a pretty good race so far."
Teague and Aminu helped Wake Forest shoot 57.4 percent Sunday after being held under 50 in five straight games.
N.C. State's offense struggled down the stretch of a 91-87 overtime loss at Virginia Tech on Sunday. The Wolfpack led by 14 at halftime, but were outscored 56-38 the rest of the way.
It was N.C. State's second straight loss against an ACC opponent. The Wolfpack committed 22 turnovers after turning the ball over 20 times in an 87-59 win over North Carolina Central in a non-conference game last Tuesday night.
N.C. State struggled to hold on to the ball against the Hokies even though point guard Javier Gonzalez made his first start since Dec. 17. Gonzalez, who had been limited by ankle problems, had nine points and six assists, but also turned the ball over five times.
The Wolfpack have gotten two straight strong performances from senior big man Ben McCauley. He's averaging 21.0 points and 13.5 rebounds in his last two games.
McCauley was held to four points and two rebounds in N.C. State's last matchup with Wake Forest, which won 78-67 on March 8. The Wolfpack lead the series 130-97.
Posted: 2/11/09 4:30AM ET