Wake Forest looks to build confidence vs. struggling USC Upstate

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Wake Forest will have a week to reflect on its most notable performance of the season between outings.

Then it's back to action Saturday night when South Carolina Upstate visits Winston-Salem, N.C.

"We've got to stay the course," Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes said. "Consistency and improvement are the keys while blocking out the noise."

Wake Forest (8-1) won its first true road game last Saturday by trouncing Virginia Tech 80-61. This came just a few days after toppling Northwestern in overtime.

The outcome against Virginia Tech gave the Demon Deacons a victory in their Atlantic Coast Conference opener for the first time in eight years. Now it's back to nonconference play for the next three games.

"One game, win or lose, in November or December doesn't make a season," Forbes said.

USC Upstate (2-6) has lost three games in a row (all at home), including the past two games against teams from the state of North Carolina. This is a potentially difficult stretch for the Spartans, with a game at No. 13 Tennessee to follow this matchup.

Coach Dave Dickerson said the objective is to show regular progress.

"I love my team," Dickerson said. "We just got to get better. I've got to get better in helping them through those situations."

Bryson Mozone leads USC Upstate in scoring with 14.4 points per game. Jordan Gainey, son of former North Carolina State guard Justin Gainey, is next at 10.1. They're the only two players to start all eight games.

Dickerson called Gainey the team's most consistent player. Josh Aldrich has provided steady moments and is becoming a key factor for the Spartans, Dickerson said.

The Spartans have given up more than 75 points in five of their games, so they rely on the offense keeping pace.

"We are a better shooting team (than we've shown at times)," Dickerson said.

This will be Wake Forest's third home game of the season against a team from the Big South Conference after defeating Charleston Southern and North Carolina A&T.

Wake Forest also owns a home victory against Western Carolina. USC Upstate's most recent game was a 78-73 home loss to Western Carolina.

--Field Level Media