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Notre Dame

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Associated Press
Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton, who scored 10 points Saturday, shoots over Wake Forest’s Travis McKie in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Wake Forest 65, Notre Dame 58

ACC road harsh for Irish

Notre Dame is still looking for league road win

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Garrick Sherman scored 20 points but Notre Dame was denied its first Atlantic Coast Conference road victory again, falling to Wake Forest 65-58 Saturday.

“Defensively, we probably did enough,” coach Mike Brey said. “You’d like to be better in two possessions, but ... we put so much pressure on our ‘D’ because we couldn’t be efficient enough offensively.”

Sophomore forward Austin Burgett didn’t play for the Irish. Burgett was diagnosed with junctional tachycardia, an abnormally fast heartbeat, this week.

Brey told reporters after the game that Burgett may not play the rest of this season.

In the game, Devin Thomas couldn’t miss for Wake Forest. And with the game on the line, neither could Codi Miller-McIntyre.

Thomas scored 21 points on near-perfect shooting and Miller-McIntyre had six of his eight points in the final 2 minutes for the Demon Deacons.

“In the second half, when they went up, I just didn’t want to lose,” Miller-McIntyre said. “So it kind of just clicked to be aggressive and go to the basket.”

Travis McKie finished with 14 points, including four key free throws in the final minute for the Demon Deacons (14-6, 4-3 ).

Sherman’s free throw with 2:24 left put Notre Dame (11-9, 2-5) up 54-53, before Wake Forest scored on each of the final six possessions of its 13th straight home win.

Miller-McIntyre gave the Demon Deacons the lead for good with a pretty across-the-lane drive with just less than 2 minutes left.

After Pat Connaughton missed a 3-pointer, Miller-McIntyre added two free throws with 1:26 left to give Wake Forest a 57-54 lead, and the sophomore guard followed Sherman’s layup with a jumper to put the Demon Deacons up 59-56 with 46.4 seconds remaining. McKie then hit four free throws in the final 27.6 seconds to ice it.

“Sometimes when you win on the road, man, you’ve got to score some points to escape,” Brey said. “Wake scored the heck out of the ball, and you’re just not going to catch them.”

Coron Williams added 11 points and three 3-pointers for Wake Forest, which shot nearly 49 percent while moving back over .500 in league play and reaching the 14-win mark for the first time under fourth-year coach Jeff Bzdelik.

“I think we’re starting to get it now,” Thomas said.

Eric Atkins scored 13 and Connaughton added 10 for Notre Dame, which has lost five of six after its upset of then-No. 7 Duke.

The Demon Deacons twice led by eight in the second half, the last coming on McKie’s layup with 7 1/2 minutes left, before Notre Dame tightened things up down the stretch. Demetrius Jackson’s free throw with 3:50 remaining tied it at 53, and Sherman gave the Irish their short-lived late lead two possessions after that.

“It’s composure,” McKie said. “Last year, when teams made a run, I think we kind of self-destructed. I think this year, we’re more comfortable in these situations – especially at home.”

Wake Forest dominated the first half but only led 25-21 while failing to fully capitalize on the Irish’s full-on shooting drought. Notre Dame missed nine consecutive shots and 12 of 13 during a brutal 7 1/2 -minute stretch.

“The practice stats say they shoot it well,” Brey said of his players. “But not tonight.”