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Men's basketball on wrong end of nailbiter

BY SETH ROBERTS | DECEMBER 01, 2010 7:20 AM

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The Wake Forest athletics website calls freshman J.T. Terrell an "ultra-quick guard who can score in bunches."

Boy, can he ever.

Terrell torched the Iowa men's basketball team for 32 points — including the game-winning 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left — to lead the Demon Deacons (4-3) over the Hawkeyes (3-4), 76-73, Tuesday night in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The freshman from Burlington, N.C., shot 7-of-11 from the 3-point line, and Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery admitted the guard was playing at a different level from the rest of the men on the court.

"I would like to have seen us identify him and get after him," he said in a postgame radio interview. "We made the switch defensively, but he hit some hellacious shots."

Terrell's play in the second half allowed Wake Forest to erase a 12-point halftime deficit, and the Demon Deacons led by as many as 8 points throughout much of the second half. The Hawkeyes fought back and tied the game late before Terrell's dagger from over 25 feet away sealed the match.

All told, though, McCaffery said, he wasn't disappointed with his team's effort.

Iowa out-rebounded Wake Forest, 38-28, despite the Demon Deacons' pair of 7-foot freshman centers. Backup point guard Roy Devyn Marble played exceptionally well in the first half to make up for starter Bryce Cartwright's foul trouble, and the Hawkeyes' tenacious defense in the period harassed Wake Forest into committing 13 turnovers.

"A lot of things, I think, were really positive tonight," McCaffery said. "I feel like we wanted to come in here, and we wanted to out-rebound them — and we did. We felt like we could execute our [offensive] sets — we did."

All the positives in the world don't erase the loss, however, and freshman forward Melsahn Basabe said he knew his team missed a golden opportunity to make a statement in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

"We came out ready [and] fired up — ready to bury them," Basabe said in a postgame radio interview. "Then, in the second half … we still had these guys. We had our foot on their throats. They were done."

Iowa scored the first basket of the second half before enduring a five-minute scoreless stretch that gave Wake Forest plenty of time to go on a 19-0 run.

McCaffery said he thought his team was rattled in the period, a byproduct of suffering an extended cold stretch in its first road game of the year.

Freshman Zach McCabe seemed especially distressed: The Sioux City native — who led the team in scoring last game — finished with nine points on 3-of-12 shooting.

Not all the young players struggled, though. Basabe played arguably the best game of his brief Hawkeye career, tallying 13 points, eight rebounds, and a pair of blocks.

The Glenn Cove, N.Y., native said he doesn't feel the team will have to deal with a post-loss hangover when they next take the court, Saturday at home against Idaho State.

"I definitely think we're going to come out focused," Basabe said. "The coaching staff doesn't allow us to get down. Every game is a new game, [and] this game is done. The next game is here."


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