Aminu, Wake Forest get back on track vs. Florida StateFeb 15, 2009 - 2:49 AM WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- As Chas McFarland showed, Wake Forest may take some lumps but it keeps fighting back.
Freshman Al-Farouq Aminu scored 17 points as eight-ranked Wake Forest bounced back from a tough loss, topping No. 25 Florida State, 86-63, on Saturday.
Jeff Teague had 15 points and L.D. Williams added 12 for the Demon Deacons (19-4, 6-4 ACC), who won for just the second time in five games.
One of the toughest losses during that stretch was Wednesday's 82-76 setback at North Carolina State in which the lowly Wolfpack had complete control. Wake Forest was down 15 points with six minutes left before an ill-fated rally made the score look respectable.
"We have the youngest starting line up in the ACC," Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio said. "They are learning and growing. Because of that we are going to have some growing pains. We all want them to be 16-0 and perfect, but that is just not reality. Everybody is having their ups and downs. I thought it was a really good win for us."
The loss to NC State was the third straight on the road in league play for the Demon Deacons, who were very happy to be back home Saturday. They shot 49 percent (26-of-53) from the field in topping 80 points for just the second time in eight games.
"I hope it's over," Teague said when asked about the recent slump. "If not, we're in trouble. We've got to get wins and we've got to keep winning on the road. We haven't beaten Georgia Tech since I've been here. It's going to be a big game for us (Wednesday)."
Wake Forest got back on its feet just like McFarland did after taking an elbow to his face jockeying with Florida State's Solomon Alabi as they ran up the court in transition with 14:07 remaining.
The 7-foot junior was sent to the floor by the blow, causing the officials to go to the monitor to review the hit. With the NCAA attempting to crack down on a recent rash of incidents involving players throwing elbows, Alabi was accessed a flagrant foul and ejected from the game.
"I don't think it had anything to do with the game," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said of Alabi's ejection. "I think the game was physical. You've seen kids play physical and I'm sure there was some physical play going on. Solomon is not the kind of kid that responds that way. I'm not sure I've had any kids ejected from a game for retaliating since I've been at Florida State.
"I'm not going to say he was provoked. I have to go back and watch the film. I think McFarland is a great player. He's a mature player. Solomon is still adjusting. I think mentally he got the better of Solomon today."
McFarland shook off the hit and made a pair of ensuing free throws to contribute to a 13-0 run that put the game away, giving the Demon Deacons a 59-38 advantage with 13:44 to play. McFarland had all seven of his points during that burst.
After netting the first eight points of the game, Wake Forest went on a 12-3 run to forge a 27-16 advantage with 5:47 remaining. Teague capped the stretch with five free throws, and ended up 9-of-10 from the stripe.
The Demon Deacons went on to hold a 42-30 cushion at the half despite the fact that the Seminoles closed with five of the last six points.
"I guess we ran into a buzzsaw today," Hamilton said. "I thought Wake Forest was extremely ready to play. I thought they were much more aggressive than we were. We turned the ball over 12 times in the first half. For whatever reason, we were somewhat tentative on the offensive end. We were reluctant to attack and they took advantage of our tentativeness."
Florida State (19-6, 6-4) continued to chip away after the break, closing within 42-35 on a jumper by Alabi with less than two minutes expired. Yet, any chance of the Seminoles making a game of it went away when Alabi was sent to the locker room while Wake Forest put together the decisive run.
Bouncing back from his nine-point effort at NC State, Aminu finished 5-of-9 from the field and grabbed five rebounds.
Williams also had five rebounds while shooting 6-of-8 from the floor for the Demon Deacons, who finished with a 40-24 advantage in points in the paint.
"We went inside so often and there are a lot of ways to score inside; it's in transition, it's throwing the ball to the post, it's second shots," Gaudio said.
Toney Douglas scored 22 points for Florida State, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Uche Echefu added 11 points and Alabi scored eight for the Seminoles, who have lost four of their last five meetings with ranked opponents.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
FLORIDA ST (25) 30 33 63
WAKE FOREST (8) 42 44 86 FINAL
Feb 14 6:15 PM
- NCAA BB
(25) FLORIDA ST 30
(8) WAKE FOREST 42 HALFTIME
Feb 14 5:01 PM
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