No. 6 Demon Deacons demolish Pirates

Published 5:36 pm Tuesday, December 23, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — There would be no early appearance by Santa Claus this year, the big guy was delayed when he and his sled smashed into the brick wall known as the Demon Deacons’ defense.
Even though the Pirates have been good all season, they will just have to wait until next year before they get that ACC win that has been sitting atop of their wish list this season, as East Carolina was dismantled 95-54 by No. 6 Wake Forest on Monday.
The combination of an outstanding defensive effort by the Deacons (11-0), mixed in with some poor shooting by the Pirates led to their worst loss since the 2004-05 season when Louisville hammered ECU 92-41.
For the first 20 minutes, the 7,575 fans that packed into Minges Coliseum had reason to believe that they might bear witness to one of the biggest upsets in ECU history as a Sam Hinnant three pointer pulled the Pirates within a 41-37 deficit heading into halftime.
However, over the next 20 they realized that their upstart Pirates (8-3) have a long way to go before they catch up to their big brothers to the west.
The balance that had carried ECU early in the season disappeared, as freshman Darrius Morrow was the only Pirate to score in double figures with 15 points.
A Morrow bucket at the 18:25 mark in the second half helped cut the Deacons’ lead to 45-40, but Wake Forest responded by out-scoring ECU 50-14 from that point on.
The Deacons, led by 6-9 freshman forward Al-Farouq Aminu’s 21 points and 12 rebounds, used a strong defensive effort to generate 24 fastbreak points. East Carolina had five.
They also used their height and athleticism to demolish the Pirates in the paint. Wake Forest out-rebounded ECU 46-28, and out-scored it inside 58-24.
East Carolina, who has shot well this season, was limited to 29 percent shooting from the field (18-62), and an even chillier 20 percent from downtown (4-20, 0-9 in the second half).
The defensive charge of the Deacons was led by L.D. Williams who did a nice job hounding ECU’s leading scorer Hinnant, limiting him to nine points.
Williams finished the game 12 points, two of them coming on a ferocious tomahawk jam in the first half.
Jeff Teague and Ishmael Smith took turns checking Brock Young (5 points, nine assists), and demonstrated outstanding lateral quickness and a true commitment to defense.
Teague entered Tuesday’s game as the ACC’s leading scorer with 19 points per game, only netted 10, but foul trouble and the lack of need kept him quiet offensively.
Ten of the 17 Wake Forest players that checked into the game were able to reach the scoring column, while five reached (Aminu, Teague, Smith, Williams, and Chas McFarland) double digits.
McFarland, the Deacons’ starting center was a big factor in the paint early in the second half where he scored eight of his 14 points. McFarland also pulled down nine rebounds.
The Pirates will take five days off for the holidays, then return to action on Dec. 28 when it plays at Coastal Carolina.
Buried treasure
Tardy to the Party: James Legan (three points) was not in the starting lineup for the first team all season after he was benched for missing a team shoot-around. Jontae Sherrod got the nod in his place, and recorded five points and two steals … Not so fast: The last time East Carolina beat a ranked team was Dec. 30, 2002 when it topped No. 9 Marquette 73-70 … Deacons’ domination continues: In their first ever appearance at Minges Coliseum, the Deacons retained their perfect record against the Pirates with a 95-54 win on Monday … Young has ties to Wake Forest: Brock Young’s uncle Danny Young starred at Wake Forest from 1981-84.
Aminu 6-11 9-9 21, Johnson 4-10 0-2 9, McFarland 7-9 0-0 14, Teague 4-6 0-0 10, Williams 4-8 3-3 12, Clark 2-2 0-0 4, Hale 2-6 0-0 5, Smith 4-7 2-2 11, Lepore 0-0 0-0 0, McQuilkin 0-0 0-0 0, Bitove 0-0 0-0 0, Davis 0-2 0-0 0, Walker 1-1 0-0 2, Godwin 0-0 0-0 0, Weaver 0-1 0-0 0, Hoekstra 0-0 0-0 0, Woods 3-3 1-2 7. Totals 37-66 15-18 95.
Abrams 3-6 0-0 7, Wynn 4-8 0-0 8, Hinnant 2-12 4-5 9, Young 2-11 1-2 5, Sherrod 2-7 0-0 5, Morrow 4-9 7-8 15, Legan 1-6 0-0 3, Turner 0-3 2-2 2. Totals 18-62 14-17 54.
Halftime—Wake Forest 41-37. 3-Point Goals—Wake Forest 6-14 (Teague 2-3, Williams 1-1, Johnson 1-2, Smith 1-2, Hale 1-4, Aminu 0-2), East Carolina 4-20 (Sherrod 1-2, Abrams 1-2, Legan 1-4, Hinnant 1-9, Morrow 0-1, Turner 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Wake Forest 46 (Aminu 12), East Carolina 28 (Morrow 9). Assists—Wake Forest 28 (Smith 9), East Carolina 10 (Young 9). Total Fouls—Wake Forest 16, East Carolina 16. Technical—Wake Forest Bench. A—7,575.