Wake Forest beats Princeton 80-66
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Wake Forest coach Danny Manning is counting on his freshmen to provide some outside shooting to stretch defenses and provide a scoring jolt.
If they can hit like they did Wednesday, it might help the Demon Deacons hang in against a tough Atlantic Coast Conference schedule.
Konstantinos Mitoglou scored 15 points and hit three of Wake Forest's season-high 10 3-pointers in an 80-66 win against Princeton.
Wake Forest (8-6) came in shooting 33 percent from 3-point range and hadn't hit more than eight in a game this season, but the Demon Deacons had surpassed that mark by midway through the second half.
But Mitoglou along with fellow freshmen Mitchell Wilbekin and Cornelius Hudson led an outside shooting flurry that helped the Demon Deacons run out to a big second-half lead.
''We had a lot of our young guys out there and the ball movement was going and those guys were stepping up and making shots,'' Manning said. ''We need those guys to make shots. One of the reasons they're out there is to help stretch the defense and they were able to do that.''
Wilbekin and Hudson each added 12 points for the Demon Deacons, who won their third straight as they head into the bulk of their league schedule this weekend.
Wake Forest used a run of 3s in the second half to build an 18-point lead, then turned away a late push by the Tigers (5-9) that closed the gap to single digits.
Wake Forest finished the game at 10-for-23 (44 percent) from behind the arc, with Wilbekin hitting three in his return from a three-game NCAA suspension. Hudson and graduate transfer Darius Leonard each added two 3s.
''We're all confident with our shots,'' Hudson said. ''We get (point guard Codi Miller-McIntyre) driving, that forces help (defense). Coach is always, `If he passes, knock it down.' That's what we do.''
Princeton shot 56 percent after halftime and scored repeatedly, only to fall further behind as the Demon Deacons traded 3s for 2s during their decisive flurry.
''That's the definition of frustration, isn't it?'' Princeton coach Mitch Henderson said. ''That was brutal. Everything we did, they had an answer.''
The Demon Deacons had five players score in double figures and also helped themselves by controlling the glass (45-27).
Steven Cook scored 17 points to lead the Tigers.
Princeton: The Tigers missed seven straight shots before Clay Wilson's 3-pointer at the 4:10 mark ended a 6 1/2-minute drought in the first half. ... Princeton scored 16 points off turnovers. ... The Tigers hadn't played since beating Liberty on Dec. 22. ''Boy we were rusty,'' Henderson said.
Wake Forest: Miller-McIntyre flirted with a triple-double, finishing with nine points, nine rebounds and 11 assists. ... Wake Forest had 12 second-chance points and 19 fast-break points. ... The Demon Deacons finished with a 12-2 edge in offensive rebounds.
Manning said he wants his Demon Deacons to be aggressive and catch the ball ''ready to shoot or ready to attack,'' but he doesn't want them losing sight of everything else.
''We're not a team that can trade buckets,'' Manning said. ''We need to make sure that we have a little more emphasis on the defensive end and coming up with stops.''
Wake Forest took its largest lead at 59-41 on Wilbekin's 3 at the 11:24 mark before Princeton rallied to 63-56 on Cook's layup with about 7 minutes left.
But Wake Forest answered with Miller-McIntyre's jumper and a transition dunk from Devin Thomas. Princeton didn't get closer than eight again.
Princeton hosts Norfolk State on Tuesday.
Wake Forest hosts No. 5 Louisville on Sunday.
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