You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Monsanto's career-high 28 lifts Wake Forest over Notre Dame

Deacons Daily on FanNation logo Deacons Daily on FanNation 2/4/2023 Christian Odjakjian

View the original article to see embedded media.

Losing four games in a row is tough for any team that has their sights set on the NCAA Tournament. Losing three straight resume-boosting win opportunities by exactly two points is gut-wrenching.

Wake Forest put an end to their four-game losing skid Saturday afternoon, securing an 81-64 win on the road over Notre Dame. Damari Monsanto was fantastic in the win, drilling 8-13 three-point attempts on his way to a 28-point, seven-rebound performance.

“To win on the road sometimes, you need to have that kind of performance from somebody,” Wake Forest head coach Steve Forbes said after the game. He’s capable of that… I’m very proud of our team for overcoming a really poor start and winning a basketball game.”

Against a Notre Dame side that entered Saturday 2-9 in the ACC, this was an important spot for Wake Forest to regain their footing on the season. Things didn’t look good after the first 10 minutes of play — and found themselves trailing 16-4.

“It wasn’t just not making shots,” said Forbes. “We had 11 turnovers early, and we aren't a team that turns it over that much.”

Wake closed the half on a 23-10 run and took a 27-26 lead into halftime. Notre Dame was +10 in the turnover department, but they struggled offensively in the opening period as well.

Monsanto provided a massive lift at the start of the second half, making three triples in the opening two minutes of the period. The third of which was very deep “heat check” three from the logo – giving Wake Forest a 38-30 lead.

“He’s got a special talent for shooting the basketball,” said Forbes. “I’m all for a heat check. If you make a couple, you go ahead.”

“Some of the shots that [Monsanto] made, that’s NBA stuff,” said Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey. “He’s amazingly gifted with that stroke. I haven’t seen a guy hit contested deep shots like that in awhile.”

From that point on, Wake Forest was in control. The smallest deficit Notre Dame faced from that point forward was seven.

“Once we get to double digits I feel a lot better,” said Forbes. “And we just never really let them back in the game.

On the back of Monsanto, the Demon Deacons shot 14-30 (46.7%) from long range in game, and 11-19 (57.9%) after halftime. Daivien Williamson, Tyree Appleby, and Bobi Klintman each knocked down two three-pointers in the second half. The three-point disparity felt like the difference in the game.

Wake Forest guard Tyree Appleby goes up for a layup against two Notre Dame defenders during the Deacs' 81-64 road win over the Fighting Irish. © Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports © Provided by Deacons Daily on FanNation Wake Forest guard Tyree Appleby goes up for a layup against two Notre Dame defenders during the Deacs' 81-64 road win over the Fighting Irish. © Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame, on the other hand, who entered Saturday leading the ACC in three-pointers made per game, shot an abysmal 4-21 (19.0%). Nate Laszewski led the way for the Irish with 18 points and seven rebounds. The Fighting Irish were thinner than usual today, as freshman bigs Ven-Allen Lubin and Dom Campbell were inactive with injuries.

Appleby put together an all-around performance of 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in a full 40 minutes of action. Klintman was the third Wake player who finished the game in double figures. In 22 minutes off the bench, he scored 10 points, adding four rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. His production off of the bench has been a nice boost over these last two games.

“I’m ecstatic,” said Forbes. “He’s playing more under control, he’s playing off of two feet. He’s shooting with tremendous confidence, and he’s a darn good rebounder. He’s really really helping our team right now.”

Wake Forest returns to action Tuesday night, when they take on the UNC Tar Heels at home in the Joel.

Follow @DeaconsDaily on Twitter and Instagram for more Wake Forest content


More from Deacons Daily on FanNation

Deacons Daily on FanNation
Deacons Daily on FanNation
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon