Hoosiers Struggle With No. 16 Wake Forest
December 2, 2003Boxscore
Winston-Salem, N.C.- The Indiana Hoosiers struggled against the No. 16 Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Tuesday night, falling 100-67. The loss was the first in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge for the Hoosiers, who are now 2-1 in the event. Wake Forest improves to 5-0 in the five-year history of the Challenge and has won 19-straight in Joel Coliseum. Indiana falls to 2-2 on the year, while Wake Forest ups its mark to 4-0.
"We faced a good basketball team tonight," Indiana head coach Mike Davis said. "We faced a basketball team that was ready to play. We have to look at it as just a loss. If we measured a loss by the margin we lost by, we would lose our season. Guys have to understand that every game in the pre-conference is a learning experience."
Freshman forward Patrick Ewing, Jr. got his first career start playing in place of injured Hoosier center George Leach. The Marietta, Ga., native turned in a solid performance in the start finishing with eight points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots.
"Patrick Ewing played a great game," Davis said. "He battled in there and played hard. Guys have to grow up quickly, we don't have a grace period for them to do that."
The Hoosiers turned the ball over 22 times leading to 38 Demon Deacon points in the process. Indiana also shot only 38.9 percent from the field, while Wake Forest finished 50.7 percent from the field.
Wake Forest used a 14-2 run in the middle stages of the first half to break open a four-point game. The Hoosiers struggled from the field in the first half, shooting only 33.3 percent, and going a stretch of 10 minutes with only one made field goal.
The Demon Deacons dominated the paint out-scoring the Hoosiers 44-20 down low. The Demon Deacons' 6-9, 275-pound center Eric Williams led the way in the paint scoring 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting. Freshman guard Chris Paul had 20 points, eight assists and five steals, as well, for Wake Forest.
"It hurt us not having George in there because he is a shot blocker," Davis said. "Not to take anything away from the way Eric Williams played, but George would have been able to block some shots. Guys can't just turn around and shoot facing the basket because of his shot-blocking presence. We knew it would be tough in the next two games facing Eric Williams and Arthur Johnson in the paint without George."
After being held to only eight points in the first half, sophomore guard Bracey Wright scored 19 in the second half to finish with a game-high with 27 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He also hit a season-high four three-pointers, and was a perfect 9-of-9 from the foul line. Sophomore guard Marshall Strickland was the only other Hoosier in double digits as he finished with 11 points and five assists.
The Hoosiers will return home to face the No. 5 Missouri Tigers on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 4:00 p.m. The game will be carried on ESPN. It also can be heard on the IU Radio Network with Don Fischer (p-b-p), Todd Leary (analysis) and Joe Smith (pre game, halftime, post game) on the call.
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