WINSTON-SALEM — Wake Forest has had problems winning on the road in the ACC this season.
But the Deacons have become world beaters at Joel Coliseum, with Saturday’s 71-46 victory against Florida State one of their most-dominating league wins in coach Jeff Bzdelik’s three-year tenure.
Travis McKie scored 15 points and three other players finished in double figures for Wake Forest (11-12, 4-7), who led by as many as 26 points in the second half en route to ending a four-game losing streak.
“Just an outstanding overall effort by our basketball team,” Bzdelik said. “All we’ve talked about this week is our pride, our confidence, our will, our desire and getting back to playing really good basketball. Simple as that.”
The last time the Deacons held an ACC opponent to less than 50 points came almost seven years ago, when a Chris Paul-led team – then ranked sixth in the nation – won an 87-48 rout on Feb. 12, 2005.
The opponent? Florida State ... and it came at Joel Coliseum – a piece of history that wasn’t lost on Leonard Hamilton, in his 11th season as the Seminoles’ coach.
“With all the progress that we’ve made with our program in the last six or seven years, we seemed to have taken a step back today,” Hamilton said. “I think we probably played worse than the stats say.”
The stat do tell a lot about Saturday’s game, though.
• Wake Forest shot 49.1 percent (26 of 53) from the field and made 7 of 17 3-pointers, while posting a season low in holding Florida State (13-10, 5-5) to 32.6 percent (14 of 43), including 4 of 13 on 3s.
Michael Snaer, the Seminoles’ scoring leader (13.9 points per game), finished with 13 Saturday on 4 of 13 shooting, facing intense pressure from guard C.J. Harris most of the game. Okaro White also had 13 points for Florida State.
• The Deacons also dominated inside against a tall Seminoles team, which has three 7-footers. Wake Forest outrebounded Florida State 45-25, including a 13-5 edge in offensive boards. That led to a 32-16 advantage in points scored in the paint, and a 19-1 edge in second-chance points.
Harris and Codi Miller-McIntyre, a Concord native and one of seven freshman on the Deacons’ roster, added 14 points each, and Chase Fischer had 10 for Wake Forest, now 4-1 in home ACC games this season.
By comparison, the Deacons are 0-6 on the road, with five of those losses coming by 16 or more points.
“We put an emphasis on protecting our home court,” Harris said. “We wanted to take it personally.”