The Wake Forest Demon Deacons found themselves down 75-67 to the #13 Indiana Hoosiers with just under 5 minutes to go. The outlook was bleak for the Demon Deacons, but they finished the game on a 14-3 run to win 81-78. This was despite the fact that Wake Forest was without Codi Miller-McIntyre, Cornelius Hudson, and Rondale Watson. It was Wake's first win over a ranked opponent since March 5, 2014, and was the biggest win of Danny Manning's tenure at Wake Forest. The same team who lost to Richmond at home less than a week ago, found a way to beat the #13 Indiana Hoosiers in what was essentially a road game.
The first half was was played at a frantic pace in which both teams had offensive efficiency ratings above 1 point per possession. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons led 50-45 at halftime thanks to 18 first half points from Dinos Mitoglou.
Wake Forest scored the first two points of the second half to take a 52-45 lead, but Indiana responded with a 9-0 to go up 54-52 at the under-16 timeout. Over the next four minutes, Wake's defense held its own, and Devin Thomas and Mitchell Wilbekin came up big to make it 59-59 at the under-12 timeout. Wake battled until it was 63 all, but then Indiana responded with a rapid 9-0 run to take a 72-63 lead with 7:25 remaining in the contest.
Wake, however, battled back with a 9-3 run to make it 75-72, Indiana, with just 3 minutes remaining. John Collins was massive for the Demon Deacons over the next several minutes as he grabbed critical rebounds and had two layups. Then, Bryant Crawford happened. The freshman drove left and made a layup with 25 seconds to go to give the Deacs a 78-77 lead. On the other end, Troy Williams was only able to make one of his free throws. This game Wake Forest the ball with 13 seconds remaining. What happened next? Devin Thomas set a high ball screen for Crawford, who finished off glass to give the Deacs an 80-78 lead with just 3 seconds remaining.
For some inexplicable reason, Indiana head coach Tom Crean called two timeouts before advancing the ball. This left Indiana with no timeouts left, and still having the go the full length of the court. Devin Thomas played a nice free safety, then John Collins came up with the loose ball and made two clutch free throws to give the Deacs a 4-point lead.
Wake Forest had 3 more turnovers than Indiana, but grabbed 13 more rebounds. Devin Thomas led all scorers with 21 points and also grabbed 8 rebounds. Mitoglou did not score in the second half, but still finished with 18. Wilbekin and Crawford each had 13, while John Collins had 10 points off of the bench.
Troy Williams led the Hoosiers with 16 points, while Robert Johnson scored 14 points off of the bench.
Wake Forest will play Vanderbilt tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ET. Vanderbilt defeated St. John's 92-55 earlier on Monday. The Deacs will be underdogs, but there's no doubt they can compete in this one. This was a very promising game.