Wake Forest (18-8) at Florida State (20-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 3rd, 7:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Donald L. Tucker Center (12,200) -- Tallahassee, Florida. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Wake Forest 12-2, FSU 12-3. Away Record: Wake Forest 6-6, FSU 5-5. Neutral Record: Wake Forest 0-0, FSU 3-0. Conference Record: Wake Forest 8-6, FSU 8-6. Series Record: Wake Forest leads, 23-16.
GAME NOTES: Two teams tied at 8-6 in the ACC standings hit the floor at the Tucker Center in Tallahassee tonight, as the Florida State Seminoles entertain the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Wake Forest is trying to put an end to a three-game slide that has stalled its momentum with the conference tournament just around the corner. Since winning four straight, the Demon Deacons have had to endure setbacks to both Virginia Tech and NC State on the road and then on Saturday the squad was defeated by a struggling North Carolina squad by a score of 77-68.
As for the 'Noles, they just had their three-game win streak snapped in a 53-50 setback versus Clemson on Sunday at home. The defeat means FSU is now 12-3 in its own building this season.
Wake Forest now leads the all-time series by a count of 23-16, winning the most recent meeting last season by a score of 86-63 at home when the Seminoles were ranked 25th in the country.
The starters for the Demon Deacons were not at their best over the weekend, especially Al-Farouq Aminu who made just two of his seven field goal attempts and was held to only seven points, to go along with 10 rebounds, before picking up his fifth personal foul. Ari Stewart accounted for 16 points, L.D. Williams 14 and Ishmael Smith 12 points to go with his team-high seven assists for a team that shot just 29.7 percent from the floor. Over the course of 14 conference games, Aminu leads the way for Wake with his double-double consisting of 15.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per contest, adding 24 blocked shots and 23 steals to help cover up the fact that he has a mere 15 assists in those meetings. Smith (13.1 ppg) is looked to for his points, but his mere 38.6 percent shooting from the field and 4-of-24 beyond the arc makes his 93 assists that much more important for the group.
While Clemson was making crucial free throws in the final moments on Sunday evening, the Seminoles finished the contest a mere 14-of-24 at the charity stripe and suffered an unsightly 20 turnovers at home. Florida State failed to put a single player in double figures, leaving Ryan Reid, Michael Snaer and Derwin Kitchen to carry much of the load with eight points apiece. A balanced team in terms of scoring, after 28 games the Seminoles have just two double- digit scorers in Solomon Alabi and Chris Singletary with 11.8 and 10.9 ppg, respectively, the duo also combining for almost 14 rebounds per outing as well. Because of the duo's efforts in the paint, FSU maintains a rebounding advantage of better than five boards per game at this stage.
Considering how the FSU offense suffered over the weekend, as long as Aminu can bounce back and stay out of foul trouble, the visitors should have a perfect opportunity to land back in the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wake Forest 67, Florida State 62
03/03 10:46:08 ET