ANAHEIM, Calif. – Wake Forest advanced to the championship game of the 2019 Paycom Wooden Legacy with an 88-75 semifinal victory over Long Beach State on Saturday at the Anaheim Arena. The Demon Deacons (5-2) extended their win streak to three while the Beach fell to 3-5 on the year.
Six Demon Deacons scored in double figures, led by Brandon Childress who had 17 points. Olivier Sarr had 16 points for his third-straight double-figure scoring game, to go with a game-high eight rebounds. Chaundee Brown scored 13 points, Andrien White had 12 points, Torry Johnson scored 11 points and Isaiah Mucius added 10 points as all 10 Deacs who saw the floor scored.
Wake Forest shot 96 percent from the free throw line (24-of-25), their second highest percentage in program history with a minimum of 20 attempts. The Deacs also dominated the boards, posting a 43-27 rebounding advantage and outscoring the Beach 20-0 on second-chance points.
How it Happened:
Most of the first half saw the teams trading the lead back-and-forth for most of the period. The Deacs used a late surge to take a 38-31 lead into intermission, capped by a midcourt buzzer beater from White, who led Wake with 10 first half points.
The Deacs used a 9-0 run early in the second half to push the lead to 59-45 with 12 minutes to play. Wake went over 7:00 without a field goal, but scored 11 points from the line to keep the Beach from closing the gap. The Deacs shot 20-of-21 from the free throw line in the second half as they closed out the 13-point win.
“This was a frenzied game, especially in the first half. Long Beach State plays with a long of energy and is active on the defensive end that created some issues for us. I thought our guys did a good job of going into half with a lead. The one thing we talked about was getting to the free throw line more in the second half. We were able to do that and our guys knocked down their free throws. We got contributions across the board from a lot of different guys, whether it was scoring the ball, rebounding the ball or being in the right spot at the right time. I am very pleased and happy with the win. Now we get a chance to take in the Disney experience tomorrow and get prepared to try and win a championship.” – Head Coach Danny Manning
Wake Forest will play in a tournament final for the first time since winning the 2008 76 Classic in Anaheim (now the Wooden Legacy) … Six Deacs scored in double figures for the first time since the 2018-19 opener vs. North Carolina A&T … Wake held an opponent with any second chance points for the first time since Dec. 22, 2012 at UNC Greensboro … The Deacs improved to 5-0 all-time at the Anaheim Arena.
Wake Forest will play either Arizona or Penn in the Wooden Legacy final on Sunday. Tip-off is 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) and will air on ESPN.