(1) Wake Forest 73

(5-1, 3-1 away)

(5) Illinois 91

(5-0, 5-0 home)

7:00 PM ET, December 1, 2004

State Farm Center, Champaign, Illinois

1 2 T
#1WAKE 33 4073
#5ILL 54 3791

Top Performers

Wake Forest: E. Williams 18 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast

Illinois: D. Brown 16 Pts, 6 Reb, 7 Ast

No. 1 Wake Forest (5-0) at No. 3 Illinois (4-0) 7:00 pm EST

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (Ticker) -- Top-ranked Wake Forest visits No. 3 Illinois Wednesday in the marquee matchup of the Atlantic Coast Conference-Big Ten Conference Challenge.

Illinois has a 34-game winning streak against non-conference opponents at Assembly Hall.

The Fighting Illini are just 1-19 all-time against top-ranked teams and 1-4 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. However, Illinois beat the last top-ranked club to visit Assembly Hall, the Michigan State Spartans on January 11, 1979.

This game features two of the most talented backcourts in the nation.

Unheralded senior guard Luther Head, who has played in the shadow of fellow backcourt mates Deron Williams and Dee Brown, is leading Illinois with 17.5 points and 7.3 assists per game. Williams is contributing 15 points, 4.0 rebounds and 6.3 assists and Brown averages 15 points and 4.8 assists. Head is 14-for-29 from 3-point range and Brown is 13-for-21.

Wake Forest counters with three talented guards of its own - sophomore point guard Chris Paul, the preseason ACC Player of the Year, Justin Gray, the MVP of the Preseason NIT, and Taron Downey, who posted a double-double off the bench in a 63-60 victory against Arizona in the NIT final last week.

Paul is averaging 14.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists and Gray is scoring 16.6 points per contest.

Illinois has trailed for a total of less than eight minutes out of 160 in dispatching Delaware State, Florida A & M, Oakland and Gonzaga by an average of 25 points. The club is shooting 54 percent from the floor and 47 percent from the arc.

Wake Forest is 5-0 in this event. Coach Skip Prosser has stressed defense after the Demon Deacons finished last in the ACC in scoring defense (76.1 points) and field goal percentage (44.9) last season. This year, they are allowing just 39.4 percent shooting.

This is just the second meeting ever between the schools. Wake Forest beat Illinois, 75-73, in the 1998-99 season opener.

The Demon Deacons have won seven straight against Big Ten teams.


School Info

Conference ACC Big Ten
Nickname Demon Deacons Fighting Illini
Type Private Public

2004-05 Season

» Dec 1, 2004 @ILL 91, WAKE 73Recap