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Notre Dame Basketball

Wake Forest Shoots Notre Dame Out of Purcell Pavilion 81-64

February 4, 2023


Notre Dame (10-13, 2-10) used a rare quick start at home on Saturday to take a 16-4 lead over Wake Forest (15-9, 7-6) with just under 10 minutes to play in the first half. 

And then Damari Monsanto woke up. The 6-foot-6 junior scored a game-high 28 points and 17 of those came in the second half, including going 5-for-8 from three-point range to allow Wake Forest to cruise past Notre Dame 81-64. 

The Demon Deacons held just a 27-26 halftime lead, which was concerning to Wake Forest head coach Steve Forbes as his team seemed to be going through the motions. 

“I guess I’ve matured over the years because I probably would have lost my mind 10 years ago,” stated Forbes. “10 minutes into the game, I think we had four points. Ty Appleby stayed positive in the huddles. He said we were fine. 

“It wasn’t just not making shots. We had 11 turnovers early and we really aren’t a team that turns it over that much in league play, so that was very concerning.” 

Forbes was spot on as Notre Dame forced 11 Wake Forest turnovers while turning the ball over just one, but Mike Brey’s squad couldn’t capitalize despite taking an early lead. 

Wake Forest’s leading scorer Tyree Appley was held to two points on 1-for-7 shooting in the first half, but the graduate transfer scored 14 points in the final half, including hitting a shot that broke Notre Dame’s will. 

“That was a display of firepower,” said Brey. “We knew they had it. We had some breakdowns, but man, they made some tough ones too. When the man banks one, you probably know it’s going to be a long day.” 

Nate Laszewski led the Irish with 18 points and seven rebounds, but it simply wasn’t enough as only Marcus Hammond (10 points) and Cormac Ryan (12 points) joined the Notre Dame big man in double figures. 

“We were pretty good in the first half,” explained Brey. “We held them to 27 points. We couldn’t score either, but at least you were keeping a lid on the threes. They hit one to start the half and guys get confident and then you’re over helping and they’re getting rolls. We had some looks that you have to make to stay with them. You have to shoot with that team.” 

And yes, Monstano hit a big three to open the second half. In fact, he hit three treys in the first two minutes to put Wake Forest up 38-30 with 18:19 on the clock to take control and momentum of the game. 

“We couldn’t score with them today. Some of the shots No. 30 (Monstano) hit today was NBA stuff. Rising up on a guy - he’s really gifted. It’s interesting to see how kids improve and get better.” 

To make matters worse, Notre Dame switched its defense to take away the three and Wake Forest dominated inside. The Demon Deacons got seven combined layups or dunks in the second half, which was a death sentence as Wake Forest went 11-for-19 from three in the same time span. 

“We played some zone,” said Brey. “We played some matchup and that helped us last Saturday, but not so much today. It’s really fragile for us. In the two games we’ve won in the league, the other team helped us a little bit. These guys aren’t going to help you. They were flowing today.” 

ISD reported on Thursday that freshman forward Ven-Allen Lubin was a scratch for Saturday as he’s dealing with a tendon injury around his ankle and lower leg. Brey indicated freshman Dom Campbell would be in line to get some extended minutes, but on Friday, he went down with an Achilles issue and is expected to miss at least two weeks of action. 

“Yesterday about halfway through practice, it started flaring up,” Brey said of Campebell’s injury. “It’s been an issue with both Achilles tendons. One is really swollen. We want to be really safe because we don’t want a rupture. Doc looked at it last night after practice, so that’s probably two weeks. 

“Ven, who knows? At this point, Matt Zona, I love you. We’re going to play you. We’ll see where we are Monday with Ven and Dom will be two weeks.” 

Notre Dame will head to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech for a 7:00 PM tip on Wednesday. The Irish beat Georgia Tech 73-72 in over time on January 10th.

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Wake Forest Shoots Notre Dame Out of Purcell Pavilion 81-64

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