No. 15 Demon Deacons Rout Hoosiers, 83-58

Dec. 3, 2008

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - No. 15 Wake Forest (7-0) continued its unbeaten season with an 83-58 win over Indiana (4-3) in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup on Wednesday night at the Joel Coliseum. The win put the ACC up 5-4 in the 10th annual event.

The Demon Deacons are now 8-1 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, including a 5-0 mark at home.

"[It was a] good win for Wake Forest, good win for the ACC," said head coach Dino Gaudio.

Sophomore James Johnson led the Deacons with 21 points, and junior L.D. Williams netted 16.

The score remained close for the first 10 minutes of play, with five lead changes. After the score was tied at 20 apiece following a Daniel Moore basket, Indiana-native sophomore Jeff Teague found a wide-open Williams for the basket, sparking a 9-0 Deacon run. The run was capped when junior Ishmael Smith came down with the long rebound on a missed 3-pointer by Devan Dumes and found a streaking Johnson for the fast-break dunk.

Wake Forest continued to go on a 19-5 run to give the Deacons a 39-25 lead at the 4:52 mark in the first half. A Johnson 3-pointer from the left wing put the Deacons up by 14 points.

The 12,454-person home crowd in attendance had plenty to cheer about in the first half, as the Deacons went in the locker room up 47-31.

Johnson scored Wake's final 11 points of the first half, and was 6-of-7 from the field at the break. He was 3-of-3 from behind the arch and grabbed three steals. On Johnson's first steal, he found freshman Al-Farouq Aminu with a behind-the-back, no-look pass to put the Deacons up 13-9.

"James Johnson set the tone at the beginning of the game. He was really unselfish and threw the ball to his buddies," Gaudio said. "The guys have been playing really well together."

Another first half highlight came with 3:49 remaining, when Johnson brought the ball up the court and went over IU's Matt Roth for the one-handed dunk to put the Deacons up 41-27.

Wake Forest led the duration of the second half, with the largest lead coming at 1:41 left in the game when the Deacons led 81-53 following senior Harvey Hale's jumper. In the second half, the Hoosiers were only able to cut the deficit to 15 with 17:20 remaining.

Going into the game against Indiana, Wake Forest ranked fifth in the nation in field goal percentage. The Deacons recorded their highest field goal percentage of the season to-date shooting 61.5 percent (32-of-52). The 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from 3-point range also tops the Wake Forest season totals. The Deacon defense forced 26 Hoosier turnovers for another season-high mark.

Indiana's top scorer for the night was Matt Roth who finished with 12 points on four 3-pointers. The Deacons held the Hoosiers' leading scorer, Tom Pritchard, to only four points and 1-of-7 shooting.

The all-time series between the Deacons and the Hoosiers now stands at 2-0, with the only other meeting between the two teams ending in a 100-67 victory for Wake Forest on Dec. 2, 2003.

Wake Forest will host Patriot League foe Bucknell on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. The Deacons and Bison are meeting for the third straight season. Wake will then have a week off for final exams before hosting Wright State on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 4:00 p.m.

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