Wake Forest (5-1) vs. USC (4-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 29, 3:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Imperial Arena (3,900) -- Paradise Island, Bahamas. Television: AXS. Home Record: Wake Forest 5-0, USC 4-0. Away Record: Wake Forest 0-0, USC 0-1. Neutral Record: Wake Forest 0-1, USC 0-1. Conference Record: Wake Forest 0-0, USC 0-1. Series Record: Wake Forest leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: After falling in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the USC Trojans will each try to bounce back when they square off at Imperial Arena on Friday afternoon.
The Demon Deacons had the toughest task in the opening round as they went up against No. 2 Kansas. The contest did not end Wake Forest's way as it was handed an 87-78 setback, its first of the season. The Demon Deacons had opened the year with five straight home games that all ended in victories.
USC already had a loss on its ledger but added another on Thursday when it got run over by Villanova, 93-79. The setback ended a four-game win streak for the Trojans, who are sporting a 4-2 overall mark entering play on Friday.
The winner of this contest will face either Tennessee or Xavier in the next consolation round on Saturday night, while the loser will face whichever team falls in that matchup.
In the only previous encounter between these programs, Wake Forest claimed a 95-83 victory over the Trojans during the 1954-55 season.
The Demon Deacons were pushed around by the Jayhawks on Thursday. Wake Forest suffered a 50-30 deficit in points in the paint and a 39-35 disadvantage on the boards. Wake Forest was able to keep itself alive by outscoring the Jayhawks 24-9 from beyond the arc.
Leading scorer Codi Miller-McIntyre (19.8 ppg) was able to find success against the Jayhawks, as he finished with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor. It was a bounce back effort for Miller-McIntyre, who had only nine points in his previous outing after scoring at least 20 points in each of the first four games. Devin Thomas (14.4 ppg, 10.3 rpg), normally a double-double waiting to happen, was shut down by the Jayhawks' talented frontcourt, as he had eight points and four rebounds, while dealing with foul trouble. Travis McKie (11.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Coron Williams (11.0 ppg) can also score.
USC was bombarded from beyond the arc in its loss to Villanova. The Trojans suffered from a 33-12 deficit in points from the 3-point line. USC also turned the ball over 16 times, while assisting on only seven field goals.
Most nights the Trojans have been the team lighting up the scoreboard at a high rate, as they are netting 75.8 points per game on just over 45 percent shooting. USC is also limiting foes to a rather weak shooting performance from the field (.386 FG percentage). Byron Wesley (19.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 3.0 apg) has carried the bulk of the scoring and rebounding load out of the backcourt. Wesley is without running mate J.T. Terrell (10.0 ppg), who is ineligible due to academic issues. Pe'Shon Howard (9.7 ppg) stepped into the starting role with a great deal of success against Villanova as he finished with a season- high 23 points. Omar Oraby (12.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.2 bpg) scores, rebounds and protects the paint well.
Thomas will have another tough outing as he bangs with Oraby in the paint. However Miller-McIntyre is the most productive scorer on the floor and will be able to hit enough shots down the stretch to give the Demon Deacons a win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wake Forest 73, USC 67
11/29 10:44:23 ET