ACC Basketball: Wake Forest 95, ECU 54
By Aaron Beard
GREENVILLE ó Al-Farouq Aminu had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 6 Wake Forest blew open a close game after halftime to beat East Carolina 95-54 on Monday night.
Chas McFarland had 14 points for the Demon Deacons (11-0), who are off to their best start since winning the first 11 games of 2003-04. Wake Forest led by four points at halftime before roaring out of the break with a big run that silenced the rowdy home crowd dreaming of an upset.
The Demon Deacons opened the second half with a 15-3 run that pushed the margin to double digits, then spent the rest of the game steadily increasing the lead while putting on a show of the fullcourt athleticism that has made them among the favorites in the Atlantic Coast Conference. There were no shortage of contributors, from Aminu’s double-double to L.D. Williams’ lockdown defense on East Carolina sharpshooter Sam Hinnant.
There would be no repeat of the Pirates’ upsets of Dwyane Wade-led Marquette here in 2002 or last year’s win against instate rival North Carolina State for ECU’s first-ever victory against an ACC opponent.
Once Aminu scored on a one-handed scooping layup while drawing the foul in transition, Wake Forest led 79-47 with 8:05 to play and the home fans were heading for the exits. Many of the fans who stayed spent the rest of the game sitting down after being on their feet early on.
Wake Forest outscored East Carolina 54-17 in the second half and held it to 4-for-30 shooting.
Darrius Morrow had 15 points to lead the Pirates (8-3), who lost their first 57 games against ACC opponents before upsetting N.C. State 75-69 here last December. They lost at N.C. State 87-76 on Wednesday night then returned home to face instate Wake Forest, located almost 200 miles west in Winston-Salem.