Wake Forest destroys NC State, 88-58, to complete season sweep

Demon Deacons win sixth ACC game with blowout victory over Wolfpack in Winston-Salem

Jeremy Brevard—USA Today Sports
Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward John Collins (20) dunks the ball during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Neither NC State nor Wake Forest have been especially great in ACC play this season. However, the Demon Deacons left no question who the better team was on Saturday with an 88-58 victory over the Wolfpack to complete the season sweep.The previous matchup at PNC Arena left a few question marks after a controversial call by referee Jamie Luckie halted a comeback attempt for NC State. On Saturday, Wake silenced any doubters behind monstrous showings by John Collins and Keyshawn Woods, who combined for 42 points.Collins recorded 20-plus points for his eighth straight game with 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the field. Though he ended his streak of three straight double-doubles with only seven rebounds, Collins certainly didn’t need them with the score at 44-24 at the half.On the other side of the ball, Dennis Smith Jr. once again got his with 17 points and three assists, but also turned the ball over four times. The freshman bounced back from an eight-point showing against Florida State, but it was not nearly enough to put the Wolfpack in reaching distance against the Deacs.If there was one bright point for the Pack — there weren’t many — it was Torin Dorn’s performance. After not tallying double-digit points in the last five games since putting up 13 against Wake, Dorn tallied 14 points on Saturday, his highest total in ACC play.As for Wake, Bryant Crawford got nearly everything he wanted matched up with Smith on the afternoon. The sophomore point guard finished 6 for 8 from the field with 17 points, three rebounds and three assists. While Collins has rightfully garnered much of the attention for the Deacs, Crawford has averaged 16 points and 5.2 assists in conference play.Saturday was Wake’s fifth straight game at 80 points or more and improved its scoring average to 85.6 points over the last nine games. Meanwhile, NC State allowed a team to score 80-plus points in its seventh straight game, bringing its average points allowed to 89.6 during that stretch.Not surprisingly, the Pack has gone 1-6 in those games. Its lone win? An 84-82 victory over Duke at Cameron. The high of that historic win has now been dampened by a five-game losing streak and three straight road routs at Louisville, Florida State and Wake by a combined total of 79 points.NC State returns home against North Carolina — which beat the Pack by 51 points in Chapel Hill — seeking its first home win since Jan. 17. Wake heads to Clemson, who is 3-8 in conference, looking to move to .500 in conference ahead of another showdown with Duke in Durham.