The Wake Forest Demon Deacons dropped to 2-1 on the season when they were defeated by Arkansas 83-53. Turnovers and missed shots were the story in this one. Wake Forest simply made far too many turnovers (22) and that led to easy transition opportunities for Arkansas.
The Deacs were down just 12-10 at the under 12 minute timeout, but Arkansas outscored Wake 18-4 over the next 4 minutes to take a 30-14 lead at the under 8 minute timeout. That run was sparked by a string of sloppy Wake Forest turnovers against Arkansas' pressure, that led to easy transition baskets for the Razorbacks. From there, Manning made some adjustments, including throwing in some zone defense and the Deacs outscored the Razorbacks 16-14 over the final 8 minutes of the half. Arkansas led 44-30 at halftime thanks in large part to 12 first half Wake Forest turnovers that led to 15 Arkansas points. Wake also went 0-6 from beyond the 3 point line, but they mostly took good shots off quality half-court ball movement.
The second half started with a quick run from each team. Arkansas started with a 10-4 run 3:04 into the half, but then Wake Forest went on a 6-0 run in 33 seconds that caused Mike Anderson to take a timeout. Following the timeout, however, Arkansas went on a 9-0 run to take a 63-40 lead at the under 12 minute timeout. INSERT THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY JPEG HERE, the Razorbacks went on a 12-2 run over the next 4 minutes to take a 75-42 lead at the 7:17 mark. Ultimately the Deacs got outscored 39-23 in the second half. Wake won the rebounding battle 36-35.
I'm a process-oriented person and I can tell you that the score of this game is not a good indicator of how these teams performed. Wake Forest went 1-18 from beyond the arc, and almost all of those shots came off good offensive sets that ended up in our best shooters' hands. Meanwhile, Arkansas took off balanced long-twos in isolation basketball that ended up going in. I promise you the expected value on those possessions was in Wake's favor. That said, we absolutely must get better at handling the press. A downside of having so many games in so few of days is that we don't have as much practice time.
Devin Thomas was the standout for the Demon Deacons. The junior finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Unfortunately for Wake Forest, he was the only Deac in double figures. Darius Leonard had 6 points and 6 rebounds, while Codi Miller-McIntyre had just 5 points while shooting 2-10 from the field.
Wake Forest will return to action on Friday night when they host Iona at 8:30 p.m.