Seminoles Pass 1st Test Without Singleton

In their first game without Chris Singleton the Seminoles scored 31 first half points against WakeForest, which is the exact total from their first game two and a half weeks ago. The difference is that the defense, with Chris, allowed Wake to score 19. Without him, Wake scored 33 and went to the half with the lead. As is too often the case the Noles didn’t begin to execute the game-plan until the 2nd half – aggressive to the basket, patience on ball reversals to give the post guys time to establish, pushing the ball on turnovers and long boards – and this quickly overmatched the Demon Deacons. The Seminoles used an 11-4 run early and easily built a double digit lead which they held for most of the half, cruising to a 84-66 win. In the 2nd half the defense was more aggressive and seemed to be getting used to the new wrinkles Ham has introduced in an attempt to cover up for our lack of Singleton’s presence. The Seminoles are now 9-3 in the ACC, which is their best conference start since the 1992-93 season.

In the first half the Noles were hobbled by 3 guards (Michael Snaer, Derwin Kitchen and Luke Loucks) picking up a pair of fouls. In the 2nd half Leonard Hamilton was able to more effectively structure his rotations, and Bernard James and Okaro White benefitted. James had 15 points, 8 boards and 2 blocks, while White scored 13 points and added 2 blocks and 2 steals. Ian Miller, in front of a block of family, scored a career high 14 points but on an inefficient 12 shots. Freshman Travis McKie, shut down by Singleton in game 1, had 20 points and 8 boards to lead Wake Forest. The game was finished by walk-ons.

This one wasn’t as fast paced as the first time these two teams matched up, but was still a 75 possession game. Against a lazy defense the Noles only turned the ball over on only 17% of their trips, which is one of the better games all season. And they had 15 assists, led by Michael Snaer’s four.

The Noles now stay on the road for a Wednesday night game at Maryland. They have to win 2 of 4 down the stretch to have a comfortable shot at the NCAA Tournament.

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