No, Freddy Krueger wasn’t in Cameron Indoor Stadium, but he might have found the Wake Forest basketball team last night and haunted their dreams. The Demon Deacons got exorcised by the Blue Devils in their 94-51 loss. This defeat to No. 3 Duke remains one of the uglier Wake performances in recent memory.
Duke jumped out to a quick 12-0 lead and it only got worse from there. At the 10 minute marker, the Demon Deacons already trailed 31-5, with no other scorer besides Mitchell Wilbekin. By halftime, Duke more than tripled the Deacs 52-15. The Blue Devils were aided by their hostile trapping defense, which led to easy transition baskets and wide open looks. Overall, Duke forced 19 turnovers, 16 of those coming in the first half.
"Codi Miller-McIntyre pushes the ball better than anyone in our league," Coach Mike Krzyzewski said, "We put on our 1-2-2 three-quarters court pressure on to prevent him from getting a jump start in transition, which is where he's at his best."
On offense, Duke displayed great discipline and ball movement. Wake doubled freshmen phenom Jahlil Okafor- who finished with only six points on two shots- on every touch so he quickly dished the ball out to the perimeter, leading to a wide open look. The Blue Devils hit 13 out of 25 threes in the game.
Tonight's unsung star for the Blue Devils is the lesser-known freshman Grayson Allen. The sharpshooter from Jacksonville, Florida shattered his career high with 27 points, nailing 9 of 11 shots from the field and four three-pointers. At halftime, he was beating the Deacs by himself 19-15, leading to "Grayson's Winning" chants in the crowd. His classmate, and like 2015 NBA lottery pick, Justise Winslow muscled his way to 13 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds. Meanwhile, sophomore Matt Jones chipped in 15 of 17 points in the second half. On his Senior Night, Quinn Cook scored 13 points and corralled five rebounds to a thunderous ovation.
For Wake, Miller-McIntyre remained composed and aggressive scoring 20 points on only 13 shots. The junior guard who Krzyzewski called "one of the better players in our league" also dished out five assists. But besides Wilbekin's 11 points, no other Wake player scored more than six.
The biggest disappointment? Devin Thomas scored 0 points on two shots and brought down only 1 rebound in 20 minutes. The last time these teams met in January, Thomas kept the Deacs in the game with 24 points, finishing 12-20 from the field. This time, however, Okafor used his 7-0 frame to disrupt Thomas's momentum, while receiving perimeter help on every Thomas touch. The Blue Devils also prevented the junior big man from going to his preferred left-hand and he never was able to counter. Overall, Duke reeled in 38 rebounds to Wake's 22.
Head coach Danny Manning was visibly disappointed and terse at the podium. When asked what he told his team after a dreadful first half, he simply said "To compete."
When followed up if his team competed better in the second half, Manning stated, "A smidgen better."
This loss marks the 16 straight loss for Wake Forest in Cameron Indoor dating back to Tim Duncan's senior year. Every single one of these defeats has come by double digits.
However, the most horrid stat of all for Wake Forest? The Demon Deacons finished 2-9 from the free throw line.
Maybe Freddy Krueger was in the crowd after all.