The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team won its second game in a row early Tuesday evening, blowing out the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 79 to 58 at Purcell Pavilion and improving to 7-9 on the season (4-6 in ACC play).
The Irish were just a few days removed from another blowout win last Saturday at the Pittsburgh Panthers, this time taking advantage of a struggling Wake team playing in its first season under new head coach Steve Forbes.
ND was led on the day by Juwan Durham, who scored 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting while also adding 9 rebounds and 5 blocks in easily one of his best games in an Irish uniform.
Prentiss Hubb (10 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds), Cormac Ryan (13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks), Nate Laszewski (6 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks), Nikola Djogo (9 points, 8 rebounds), and Dane Goodwin (10 points, 4 rebounds) also all turned in high-quality performances, as the Irish played great as a team and finished the game having shot 51% from the field and 44% from deep. The Irish won the rebounding battle as well, grabbing 44 boards to Wake Forest’s 31.
The first half saw the Irish lead for the vast majority of the time, but the Demon Deacons refused to allow Notre Dame to build any sort of substantial lead, despite strong starts from Juwan Durham (11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks in the first half), Cormac Ryan (8 points), Dane Goodwin (7 points), and Prentiss Hubb (6 assists, 0 turnovers). ND led just 35-32 at the break.
In the second half, the Irish came out swinging, beginning the half on a 16-0 run and breaking the game wide open, only adding to their lead as the half progressed. By the final minutes of the game the Irish were pushing their lead to nearly 30 points, and they coasted easily to a 21-point victory, outscoring the Demon Deacons 44 to 26 in the second half.
Wake Forest was paced in scoring by Isaiah Mucius, who put up 14 points and 5 rebounds on the day. Ody Oguama(13 points, 6 rebounds), Ismael Massoud (8 points, 3 rebounds), and Daivien Williamson (8 points, 4 assists) also chipped in for Forbes’ squad. The Deacs shot 34% from the field and 39% from deep, and actually won the turnover battle despite the blowout loss.
The Irish hope to make it 3 wins in a row (and 5 of the last 6) on Saturday night (2/6) when they face a tough-but-winnable road test at Georgia Tech before traveling to Duke next Tuesday, 2/9.