You’ve read the recap. Now, let’s go inside the numbers of a game that truly defied explanation.
Wake Forest coach Danny Manning touched on a number of things in his postgame diagnosis, and we should focus on a few of those.
“Charlotte hurt us a lot with back-door cuts, where we weren’t pressuring the ball, and we weren’t getting our hands around enough in those passing lanes. We allowed too many of those types of cuts, and options for them to score.”
This is not as easily quantifiable from a statistical basis, except in noting that the 49ers had 16 assists on 22 baskets. To be sure, not every basket came on a back-door cut, but the 49ers — especially early — were just slip-cutting the Deacs to death by slipping in behind the post defenders.
“We’ve gotta get more paint touches. We didn’t have enough paint touches for the game. Then, when we get our paint touches, we’ve gotta reward ourselves. I think we missed 11 layups throughout the course of the game, and three in overtime. We have to do a much better job with that.”
There are two issues to unpack here. The first — paint touches — shows in the Points in the Paint statistic, where Charlotte bettered Wake, 32-24. Charlotte finished with a negligble 7-5 second-chance points advantage, as well.
Then, there’s the missed layups. I noted this during the game:
One of the most glaring of these missed layup/paint struggles came just seconds into the overtime period. Sarr missed a point-blank look, wrested away the rebound, missed another (this one off the front of the rim), and had the second rebound snatched away by Charlotte guard Drew Edwards. Edwards was then fouled on the ensuing possession, and sank two of the six consecutive 49er free throws that started overtime. The official layup stats for the game reflected Wake as 10-for-18, but some of those misses were absolutely critical.
“We were fouling too much with our hands, and that hurt us, as well. They ended up shooting 10 more free throws than us for the game. I think our guards have to do a much better job of getting to the free throw line. Brandon (Childress) and Andrien (White) didn’t shoot any free throws for the game, and they got up 28 shots between them.”
(A quick note: Forward Ody Oguama was the third of Wake’s starters not to shoot any free throws, though he played just 11 minutes.)
The even worse thing about Wake’s free throw dilemma was the fact that the Deacs hit just 58.3 percent of the free throws they did attempt. Charlotte knocked down 18-of-22 for the game, and that number proved pivotal. The foul difference was not egregious; Charlotte was whistled 16 times, while Wake was called for 14. Considering the 49ers turned 14 fouls into 22 free throw attempts, this helps tell the story.
The foul situation also came to the fore in overtime, as Childress’ final contested three clanged off the front of the rim. Les Johns queried Manning about that shot, and he said this:
“I’d like to get something going to the basket, but at the same time, he wasn’t able to draw any fouls earlier, throughout the course of the ballgame. I thought he felt like he needed to pull up and that was gonna be his cleanest look, because when he had gotten into the paint through the course of the ballgame, he didn’t get fouled, because he didn’t shoot any free throws.”
Not capitalizing: Charlotte went 9:53 of the second half without scoring a field goal whatsoever. Throughout that span, Wake Forest never took the lead. That seems even crazier, in retrospect. Manning opined on this, as well.
“We allowed free throws. We fouled them during that stretch, and we gave them a chance to get points on the free throw line. For us, defensively, that was a good stretch, to guard the way that we guarded, and limit their scoring opportunities. We just have to do a better job playing defense with our head and our feet.”
I would add one more observation.
Just as Charlotte stayed in the game from the line, Wake stayed in the game from beyond the arc. The Deacs attempted 25 threes, making 10, which was something Manning said would be vital against the pack-line principles Sanchez has employed with the 49ers. The one the club needed the most, though, wouldn’t go.
- Points in the paint: Charlotte 32, Wake Forest 24
- Points off turnovers: Wake Forest 11, Charlotte 7
- Second-chance points: Charlotte 7, Wake Forest 5
- Fast-break points: Charlotte 6, Wake Forest 4
- Bench points: Wake Forest 19, Charlotte 2
CHARLOTTE 67, WAKE FOREST 65 (OT)
WAKE FOREST (2-2, 0-1 ACC): Mucius 2-7 1-2 5, Oguama 0-0 0-0 0, Childress 8-17 0-0 19, White 4-11 0-0 10, Brown 4-11 2-2 12, Wright Jr. 0-2 1-2 1, Neath 0-1 0-2 0, Johnson 1-1 0-0 3, Massoud 3-5 0-0 8, Sarr 2-9 3-4 7. Totals 24-64 7-12 65.
CHARLOTTE (2-1, 0-0 C-USA): Bamba 3-4 3-4 9, Young 8-12 4-6 24, Martin 2-8 7-8 12, Shepherd 7-17 2-2 16, Edwards 1-6 2-2 4, Williams 0-3 0-0 0, Supica 0-1 0-0 0, Robb 0-2 0-0 0, Vasic 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 22-56 18-22 67.
Halftime — Tied 29-29. 3-Point Goals—Wake Forest 10-25 (Mucius 0-1, Childress 3-9, White 2-5, Brown 2-4, Wright Jr. 0-1, Johnson 1-1, Massoud 2-4), Charlotte 5-12 (Young 4-5, Martin 1-2, Shepherd 0-1, Edwards 0-1, Williams 0-1, Robb 0-1, Vasic 0-1). Fouled Out — NA. Rebounds —Charlotte 41 (Shepherd 9), Wake Forest 39 (Sarr 13). Assists —Charlotte 16 (Edwards 4), Wake Forest 13 (Childress 4). Total Fouls —Charlotte 16, Wake Forest 14. Technical — NA. A —4,819.