ATLANTA — With Wake Forest head coach Steve Forbes sidelined with an illness, Brooks Savage stepped in as acting head coach.
The Irmo graduate who played under Tim Whipple was on the East Tennessee State staff for five seasons and followed Forbes to Winston-Salem. With Savage running things, the Demon Deacons responded with an impressive 80-64 victory over Georgia Tech.
For Wake Forest, it was the program's first win at McCamish Pavilion and first victory at Georgia Tech since 2004. With the victory, Wake Forest improved to 15-4, 5-3 in the ACC. George Tech falls to 7-10, 1-6 ACC in the league.
"I'm super proud of our team. It was a back-and-forth game and it seemed like we couldn't build a 10-point lead for the longest time, but we have a tough group. They're tested, they're tough and they just kept hanging in there. We got some stops and got into transition starting around the eight minute mark of the second half," Savage said.
"The key to the game was getting rebounds and turning them over so we could get into transition because, at times, it can be hard to score against the zone. So credit to the players, they were fantastic and made plays when the game was in the balance.
And credit to our staff, Coach Shay and Coach McKie had the defensive game plan and adjustments and did a really good job making sure our players knew what was going on during the game. And on offense, Coach Woodley was instrumental in keeping us ahead of the game. Everybody stepped up and we wanted to do what we did tonight for Coach Forbes."
Savage is one of two Irmo graduates on the Wake Forest coaching staff. BJ McKie, the all-time leading scorer in the history of the South Carolina men's basketball program, was at ETSU for three seasons before coming to Wake Forest with Forbes.