Wake Forest went on a 19-6 run to close out the contest as they rallied to upset No. 13 Indiana, 82-78, on Monday in the first round of the Maui Invitational.
Bryant Crawford’s driving layup over Indiana center Thomas Bryant with 3.2 seconds left broke a 78-all tie as the Demon Deacons got a stop on the ensuing possession and knocked down two more free throws to seal the win. Crawford’s layup just got over the 7-foot-5 wingspan of Bryant to give Wake Forest the unlikely victory.
Indiana’s defense fell apart in the final minutes and the Hoosier offense had multiple offensive possessions during that stretch that resulted in turnovers or bad shots. The Hoosiers managed only one field goal the last 5:17 of the game.
Devin Thomas paced Wake Forest with 21 points while Dinos Mitoglou scored all 18 of his points in the first half. Crawford and guard Mitchell Wilbekin each finished with 13 points for the Demon Deacons.
Wake Forest beat Indiana on the glass 43-30 for the contest as the Hoosiers gave up 18 Demon Deacon offensive rebounds. Indiana’s defense struggled for long stretches of the game as they allowed 50 first-half points to Wake Forest and 50 percent shooting for the game.
Troy Williams led Indiana with 16 points while Robert Johnson chipped in 14. Max Bielfeldt and Yogi Ferrell each added 11 for the Hoosiers. It also hurt Indiana that they struggled to find consistency making 3-pointers during the game as they went 34 percent (10-for-29) from the field.
This is certainly a very disappointing result for Indiana and head coach Tom Crean. The Hoosiers could have made a major national statement with a strong showing at Maui and now they’re going to be in the consolation bracket facing a St. John’s team that isn’t very good. With Crean on the hot seat entering the season, Indiana faithful will be asking a lot of questions about this team until they can prove that they’re a Big Ten contender.
As for Wake Forest, they pounded the interior and offensive glass and made Indiana pay for its soft defense inside. As long as Crawford and Wilbekin can add some scoring punch, Thomas is a consistent performer and Mitoglou showed with his strong first half that he’s capable of putting up points in a hurry. It’s hard to say now if Wake Forest is in position to make a run to the NCAA tournament this season, but this Maui Invitational showing will be important for their confidence heading into the difficult ACC.