Wake Forest cruises in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Posted: Wednesday, December 03, 2003

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Eric Williams scored 25 points and freshman Chris Paul had 20, both career highs, to lead No. 18 Wake Forest to a 100-67 victory over Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night.

The Demon Deacons (4-0) remained unbeaten in five Challenge games, extended their streak to 19 straight home victories dating to last season and gave third-year coach Skip Prosser his 50th win at the school.

Vytas Danelius added 13 points, Justin Gray had 11 and Jamaal Levy had 12 rebounds for Wake Forest.

Bracey Wright scored 27 points to lead Indiana (2-2). The Hoosiers lost for the first time in three Challenge appearances, making No. 5 Michigan State - which hosts No. 6 Duke tonight - the only unbeaten Big Ten team in the five-year event.

With just under eight minutes left to play and Wake Forest leading 81-44, the crowd began chanting "ACC! ACC" to recognize the largest margin of victory in the Challenge. The Deacons' rout bested Illinois' 92-65 victory over North Carolina last season.

Paul, Wake Forest's highly touted freshman, had the best all- around game of his short career.

He made his first five shots, and only missed on his sixth because A.J. Moye fouled him as he drove to the basket on a fast-break off his own steal.

He did his best work in the first half, when he scored 15 points and had five of Wake Forest's 10 first-half steals. He also drew Bracey as his early defensive assignment and applied enough pressure to force him into four turnovers while shooting 2-for-5 for the half with eight points.

Paul finished 7-for-9 from the field, 2-for-2 from 3-point range and had eight assists. In four games, Paul has 21 assists, 14 steals and four turnovers.

Wright scored the bulk of his points in the second half when Taron Downey shifted over to guard him.

The Hoosiers were without senior center George Leach, a native of nearby Charlotte, who missed the game with a knee injury. It cleared the way for freshman Pat Ewing Jr. to make his first career start, which was somewhat uneventful.

Ewing, the son of former NBA star Patrick Ewing, struggled a bit inside stopping Williams, who was 10-for-19 from the field. Indiana also had a hard time getting the ball inside, especially after falling behind by double digits.

Ewing finished with eight points.

Indiana redshirt freshman guard Roderick Wilmont, who spent his freshman year at Sitka High School, scored one point, grabbed four rebounds and made a steal in 10 minutes of action.

No. 2 Florida 102, Florida A&M 78

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Matt Walsh celebrated his 21st birthday with 15 points to lift No. 2 Florida to a victory over Florida A&M.

Walsh also had four rebounds and five assists and kept the Gators (3-0) perfect, the day after they climbed to the second spot in The Associated Press poll, and four days after their big 78-77 win over No. 7 Arizona.

Florida's win came despite a 31-point effort from Terrence Woods, a former Tennessee player who moved to Florida A&M (0-4) before last season. It was the most an opposing player had scored at Florida since 1989. Woods made nine 3-pointers.

No. 4 Missouri 70, Coppin St. 61

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Missouri survived its second straight scare, getting 16 points, six rebounds and three blocks from Travon Bryant in a comeback victory.

Arthur Johnson added 14 points and nine rebounds for Missouri (2-0). Nicholas King scored 25 points and hit five 3-pointers for Coppin State (2-5).

No. 10 North Carolina 88, No. 11 Illinois 81

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Sean May had 23 points and 14 rebounds to help North Carolina outlast Illinois in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Rashad McCants added 20 points, and Jawad Williams had 18 for North Carolina (4-0). Deron Williams led Illinois (3-1) with 22 points, and Roger Powell added 20.

No. 12 Saint Joseph's 84, San Francisco 52

PHILADELPHIA - Jameer Nelson scored 18 points and Dwayne Jones added a career-high 13 points for Saint Joseph's.

Delonte West and Chet Stachitas each scored 13 points and Pat Carroll had 11 for the Hawks (4-0). James Bayless led the Dons (3-4) with 16 points.

No. 14 Oklahoma 94, Ark.-Pine Bluff 24

NORMAN, Okla. - Tuning up for a big game, No. 14 Oklahoma overwhelmed Arkansas-Pine Bluff in coach Kelvin Sampson's most lopsided win in 10 seasons with the Sooners.

The Sooners (4-0) didn't have to break much of a sweat while preparing for Saturday's showdown at No. 5 Michigan State. The 24 points were the fewest by an Oklahoma opponent in 60 years.

De'Angelo Alexander scored 19 points for the Sooners. Kevin Bookout had 14, Jason Detrick 13 and Jabahri Brown 12.

The Sooners limited the Golden Lions (0-4) to just nine field goals and 21-percent shooting.

Maryland 73, No. 15 Wisconsin 67, OT

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Jamar Smith scored a career-high 25 points, including the go-ahead basket with 56 seconds left, and Maryland outlasted Wisconsin in overtime in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Smith also had 12 rebounds, his fourth double-double in four games. Chris McCray scored a career-high 15 points and John Gilchrist had 12 points and nine assists for the Terrapins (4-0), 92-1 in nonconference home games since Dec. 12, 1989.

Devin Harris scored 24 points for the Badgers (3-1).

No. 19 Cincinnati 68, Valparaiso 49

VALPARAISO, Ind. - Jason Maxiell had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Cincinnati (4-0) in its lone road game before beginning Conference USA play next month.

Joaquim Gomes led Valparaiso (1-3) with 10 points.

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