Wake Forest stays unbeaten with 56-47 victory over Iowa
By By Associated Press
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Chas McFarland scored a career-high 15 points and Wake Forest remained unbeaten under first-year coach Dino Gaudio with a 56-47 victory over Iowa on Monday night.
The matchup in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge was sloppy and a struggle offensively at both ends. But Wake Forest (4-0) made enough shots to build an early 11-point lead, increased its margin to 16 at the half and had no trouble holding off the Hawkeyes (4-3) in the second half.
Jamie Skeen added 11 points for Wake Forest, which won on the road for the first time since beating Miami last Jan. 6.
Freshman Jarryd Cole’s 14 points led Iowa, which lost for just the third time in the last 39 games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Justin Johnson, the team’s leading scorer with a 15.3 average, scored only eight on 3-for-15 shooting.
Gaudio succeeded his friend and mentor, Skip Prosser, after Prosser died of an apparent heart attack in July. With Monday’s victory, Gaudio became just the third Wake Forest coach to start his career with four straight wins.
Prosser also won his first four. James Baldwin won his first 15 games in the 1926-27 season.
McFarland, a 7-foot sophomore, topped his previous best of nine points against Winston-Salem State last week and grabbed eight rebounds. Before this, he had been known mostly for being the tallest player in Wake Forest history to make a 3-pointer.
Iowa played for the fifth time in nine days and the busy stretch appeared to take a toll. The Hawkeyes shot 38 percent and they weren’t picky about the shots they missed. They missed driving layups, they missed open jumpers and bricked their first six free throws before finishing 7-for-18 at the line.
Late in the first half, three Iowa players stood in the lane watching the ball after Wake Forest missed a shot and allowed McFarland to sweep in and grab it.
The Hawkeyes also turned it over 23 times and are now averaging 17 turnovers a game, a disturbing figure for first-year coach Todd Lickliter, whose Butler teams rarely turned it over.
Wake Forest also had stretches of poor play. The Demon Deacons shot only 34 percent and were just 1-for-15 on 3-pointers.
They failed to score in the first 4 minutes of the second half and didn’t get their first field goal of the half until Ishmael Smith hit a driving shot at the 14:04 mark.
Iowa managed to get the lead down to 35-27 when Johnson drove down the lane for a basket, but Wake Forest came back with six of the next eight points and the lead was never below double digits again until the final 30 seconds.
McFarland’s short hook and L.D. Williams’ dunk made it 47-32 with 7:11 to play and not long after that, Iowa fans began leaving. They missed seeing Jeff Peterson feed Cole for a rim-shaking dunk but not much else.
It was just the third meeting between the two schools and the first since Wake beat Iowa 84-78 in the second round of the 1993 NCAA tournament.