GREENSBORO, N.C. - Al-Farouq Aminu had a double-double by halftime and finished with 23 points and 17 rebounds as Wake Forest defeated UNC Greensboro, 75-60, on Monday evening in the Greensboro Coliseum.
Aminu's double-double led the Demon Deacons (9-2) and was his eighth double-double in just 11 games this season. Ari Stewart and L.D. Williams also scored in double figures as they each added 11 points and C.J. Harris chipped in 10.
Ben Stywall paced the Spartans (2-9) with 13 points and 12 rebounds as he recorded his third double-double of the season. Brandon Evans also added 10 points as he scored in double figures for the sixth straight contest and eighth time in 11 games this season. Kendall Toney and Korey Van Dussen each added 10 points, as well.
After trailing by just seven at the break, UNCG pulled within four at 35-31 on a 3-pointer by Toney. That was as close as the Spartans would get the rest of the game as Wake Forest used a 13-4 run to take a 15-point lead with just under nine minutes remaining in the game.
UNCG, playing without senior guard Mikko Koivisto due to a stomach virus, continued to fight as it responded with a 9-1 run, capped off by a Montel Smith layup to pull within 61-54. The Deacons were forced to call a timeout at the 6:21 mark and regrouped to end the game on a 14-6 run to put it out of reach.
The Deacons set a school record in the game as they blocked 16 shots. They had previously blocked 14 shots on two different occasions. Aminu had six of those blocks, while Ishmael Smith, who was held to just five points, had four blocks to go along with a game-high six assists.
The Spartans started off strong as a Stywall jumper just over two minutes into the contest gave UNCG an early 6-4 lead. After the Deacons built at 12-6 lead, UNCG went on a 12-3, sparked by a Van Dussen 3-pointer, to take an 18-15 advantage midway through the opening stanza.
Wake Forest closed the first half on an 8-2 run to take a 31-24 lead at the break. The two sides each had 23 rebounds in the first half, but the Deacons made 13 of their 33 shots compared to UNCG's 9 made baskets in 30 attempts to lead at halftime.
The Deacs had an opened the lead up to 15 at 60-45 with 8:44 left after an L.D Williams dunk. But the 9-1 run pulled UNCG back to within seven and made things interesting down the stretch.
The Spartans return to the court to face another ACC foe on Thursday as they host NC State on New Year's Eve. Opening tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the game will be televised by Fox SportsNet South.
WAKE FOREST 75, UNCG 60
WAKE FOREST (9-2)
Al-Farouq Aminu 8-16 6-10 23; Ari Stewart 4-11 0-0 11; L.D. Williams 5-7 0-0 11; C.J. Harris 2-4 6-6 10; Gary Clark 2-6 1-1 6; Ishmael Smith 2-7 1-4 5; Chas McFarland 0-2 4-6 4; Tony Woods 1-1 1-3 3; David Weaver 1-2 0-0 2.
Totals 25-56 19-30 75.
Ben Stywall 6-12 1-2 13; Brandon Evans 3-9 4-5 10; Korey Van Dussen 3-12 2-2 10; Kendall Toney 3-10 2-2 10; Brian Cole 2-7 2-2 7; Montel Smith 1-1 2-2 4; Pete Brown 1-3 0-2 2; Elhanan Bone 1-5 0-0 2; Kyle Randall 1-10 0-0 2. Totals 21-69 13-17 60.
Halftime: Wake Forest 31-24. 3-point goals--Wake Forest 6-16 (Ari Stewart 3-6; Al-Farouq Aminu 1-3; L.D. Williams 1-1; Gary Clark 1-3; Ishmael Smith 0-1; C.J. Harris 0-2), UNCG 5-18 (Kendall Toney 2-8; Korey Van Dussen 2-4; Brian Cole 1-2; Elhanan Bone 0-1; Kyle Randall 0-1; Brandon Evans 0-2). Fouled out--Wake Forest-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Wake Forest 42 (Al-Farouq Aminu 17), UNCG 44 (Ben Stywall 14). Assists--Wake Forest 14 (Ishmael Smith 6), UNCG 9 (Korey Van Dussen 3). Total fouls--Wake Forest 15, UNCG 20. Technical fouls-Wake Forest-None, UNCG-None. A-4716.
FREE THROWS: Wake Forest sets had 2 games with 14 blocks previously - against Rhode Island in 1975 and Appalachian State in 1978... UNCG drops to 0-5 all-time vs. Wake Forest... It was the first time UNCG hosted Wake Forest. The Spartans will return the trip next season... the walk-up crowd on Thursday was close to 1,200... Ben Stywall had the 40th game in his career that he scored in double figures... Aminu's 10 trips to the free throw line was a season best. His previous best was eight against East Carolina in a game that also took place in the Greensboro Coliseum... Ben Stywall's double-double was his third of the season and 15th of his career. He finished the game with 13 points and 14 boards... Stywall's 14 rebounds was one short of his career-high, which equaled earlier this season... Koivisto's listed as questionable for Thursday's game against NC State... UNCG shot a season-low 30.4 % from the floor. Their previous low was 31.7% against East Carolina on Nov. 28... UNCG's 11 turnovers were one off its season-low (10 vs. East Carolina).
- UNCG -