Challenge Too Much for Hoosiers

Indiana wasn't up to its daunting challenge Wednesday night at Wake Forest. The 15th-ranked Demon Deacons turned 26 Indiana turnovers into a laundry list of highlight reel dunks and fastbreak baskets, and Wake Forest whipped Indiana 83-58 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge...

Indiana wasn't up to its daunting challenge Wednesday night at Wake Forest.

The 15th-ranked Demon Deacons turned 26 Indiana turnovers into a laundry list of highlight reel dunks and fastbreak baskets, and Wake Forest whipped Indiana 83-58 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

The Hoosiers managed to stay close early despite its miscues, tying the game at 20-20 10 minutes into the first half on an acrobatic driving lay-up by Daniel Moore. But Wake Forest proved to be too big, too athletic, and ultimately too good for Tom Crean's team.

While the final 25-point spread wasn't a huge surprise to most considering the prospects for both teams this season, it left a very bad taste in the mouth of Crean.

"We got into this game and get into a position where we could play, and it was like we realized we shouldn't be in it," Crean said.

Wake Forest used a 27-11 run in the final 10 minutes of the first half to open a 47-31 lead at intermission, and the surge was aided by a plethora of IU turnovers that led to too many easy scoring opportunities. Devan Dumes – who committed six of his game-high seven turnovers in the first half – turned it over on a post feed to Tom Pritchard and Wake Forest took it the other way for an alley-oop dunk by L.D. Williams that extended the lead to 11. Moments later, Wake turned another IU miscue into a fastbreak dunk by James Johnson when he elevated over Matt Roth to finish the play.

Any hopes of a second-half turnaround were dashed quickly. Chas McFarland scored on a turnaround jumper in the lane to push the lead to 18, and after Dumes turned it over at the other end Jeff Teague raced up court for a fast break basket to give the Deacons a 20-point lead, 51-31.

Crean called a 30-second timeout to stop the flurry, and afterwards called into question his team's approach against the Deacons.

"We come out of halftime, we want to hit singles, reverse the ball, get it inside, and we try to hit two home runs and we're down 20," Crean said.

The Hoosiers would get no closer than 15 the rest of the way.

Johnson led Wake Forest with 21 points on 8-10 shooting, while L.D. Williams added 16 and Jeff Teague chipped in with 14, all of which came in the second half. Wake shot 61.5 percent from the floor (32-of-52) and won handily despite committing 23 turnovers of their own.

Indiana, meanwhile, was led by Matt Roth who scored 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from behind the 3-point arc. Nick Williams added nine points and 10 rebounds, and Malik Story added 10 points and six turnovers. Tom Pritchard, IU's leading scorer entering the game, was limited to a season-low four points and eight rebounds.

Crean said that his team had the deer-in-the-headlights look to it in its first true road game of the season, but that didn't excuse much of what he saw on the court.

"We had a gameplan that we felt great about," Crean said. "We can't come out and not utilize one another. There were so many opportunities to drive and kick it out, make the next pass. We work on it every day in practice."

Indiana's task doesn't get any easier this weekend when it faces No. 5 Gonzaga at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Crean said the Zags might wind up being the best team IU faces all season, and he's expecting to see his team be much better at a couple facet of the game this weekend.

"Before we can make strides, we have to learn to compete at a higher level for a longer period of time and before we can learn to compete, we have to learn to talk more to one another," Crean said.

INDIANA 58
Williams 4-11 1-2 9, Pritchard 1-7 2-4 4, Story 4-12 1-2 10, Dumes 2-5 4-5 9, Moore 2-5 3-5 7, Roth 4-5 0-0 12, Schutz 0-2 0-2 0, Jobe 0-0 0-0 0, Taber 3-6 1-2 7, Finkelmeier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-53 12-22 58.

WAKE FOREST 83
Aminu 4-9 4-6 12, Johnson 8-10 2-2 21, McFarland 1-3 2-2 4, Teague 5-9 4-5 14, Williams 7-9 1-2 16, LePore 0-0 0-0 0, Hale 3-5 0-0 7, McQuilkin 0-0 0-0 0, Woods 1-1 0-2 2, Davis 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 32-52 14-21 83.

Halftime Score: Wake Forest 47, Indiana 31. 3-Pointers: Indiana 6-19 (Roth 4-5, Story 1-3, Dumes 1-4, Schutz 0-2, Moore 0-1, Williams 0-4), Wake Forest: 5-11 (Johnson 3-3, Williams 1-2, Hale 1-2, Teague 0-1, Aminu 0-1). Rebounds: Indiana 30 (Williams 10), Wake Forest 34 (Aminu 9). Assists: Indiana 11 (Pritchard 3, Moore 3), Wake Forest 16 (Teague 5). Turnovers: Indiana 26, Wake Forest 23. Blocks: Indiana 0, Wake Forest 7. Steals: Indiana 10, Wake Forest 13.

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