RALEIGH Codi Miller-McIntyre came back for Wake Forest on Tuesday night. The Demon Deacons might need Chris Paul back to beat N.C. State in Raleigh.
Sophomore forward T.J. Warren scored a career-high 34 points to lead the Wolfpack to a 82-67 win over Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons haven't won in Raleigh since Paul's last season in 2005.
That's a span of nine straight and many of them looked like Tuesday's lopsided win for the Wolfpack (16-8), which improved to 6-5 in the ACC with its second straight win.
It was Warren's fifth 30-point game of the season and second in the past four games.
Wake Forest (14-10) fell to 4-7 in the ACC with its fourth straight conference loss. Miller-McIntyre injured his right ankle in the first half of a home loss to Georgia Tech on Feb. 1. He missed last Tuesday's loss at Duke with the injury but was back for Wake's annual trip to the PNC Arena.
It was Miller-McIntyre who hit the game-winning layup in Wake's 70-69 win over N.C. State in Winston-Salem in January. He finished with 15 points and seven assists but Warren didn't leave any room for late-game heroics.
Warren poured in 23 of the Pack's 46 first-half points. He made three 3-pointers while Wake was in a zone defense. He was 10 of 14 from the floor in the first half as the Pack shot 62.5 percent (20 of 32).
Wake's zone worked well in the second half of the game in Winston-Salem on Jan. 15 but no on Tuesday. The Wolfpack found the creases, and sometimes invitations for open 3s, and buried eight, the most it has had in 11 ACC games this season.
Freshman guard Cat Barber, who came off the bench for the second straight game, drained a pair of 3s. Barber's 3 from the left corner, with 10:35 left in the game, gave the Pack a 63-47 lead and left Wake scrambling.
N.C. State guard Desmond Lee also hit 3s against the Deacs' zone in the first half. Letting Lee or Barber shoot from the arc isn't a bad strategy but it backfired. Barber was 0 for 11 in the previous eight games from 3-point range. Lee hadn't made a 3 since the Duke game on Jan. 18, a span of five games.
Wake Forest compounded its defensive problems with a 13-of-29 effort from the free-throw line. In Wake's home win earlier this season, the Deacs made 28 of 39 free throws.
Even with N.C. State's success against the zone, and 10 turnovers by Wake in the first half, the Deacs were able to tie the score at 30 and 35 with their own strong shooting.
Wake made 60.9 percent of its shots (14 of 23) in the first half with 11 points from Travis McKie and nine from Miller-McIntyre.
The sophomore guard didn't start but he checked at the 14:04 mark and picked up where he left off against State. His jumper at 3:23 cut N.C. State's lead to 39-37 but Warren had the answer with five straight points.
A third foul, and second offensive foul, on Miller-McIntyre with 7.3 seconds left set up a last-second layup by Barber and the Pack took a 46-38 lead to the break.
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