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Paul paces Wake past Indiana

12/3/2003

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Chris Paul is a natural scorer with
an overwhelming desire to pass the ball. The freshman is learning
how to balance both roles for No. 18 Wake Forest.

Paul had a career-high 20 points, eight assists and five steals
to lead the Demon Deacons to a 100-67 victory over Indiana in the
ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night.

"He's a naturally deferential young man," coach Skip Prosser
said. "I have spoken with him recently, telling him that he can
score and he should look for his offense a bit more."

Paul did in his best all-around game of his short career at Wake
Forest (4-0).

He made his first five shots, and only missed on his sixth
because A.J. Moye fouled him as he drove to the basket on a
fast-break off his own steal.

He did his best work in the first half, when he scored 15 points
and had five of Wake Forest's 10 first-half steals.

"Coach told me I must become a scoring threat," Paul said.
"The first couple of games I wasn't trying to score and he told me
it was going to turn into a 5-on-4 and teams would stop guarding
me. So tonight I made a point to score."

Eric Williams added a career-high 25 points, Vytas Danelius
added 13 points, Justin Gray had 11 and Jamaal Levy had 12 rebounds
for Wake Forest, which remained unbeaten in five Challenge games.

The Demon Deacons also extended their streak to 19 straight home
victories dating to last season and gave Prosser, the third-year
coach, his 50th win at the school.

Bracey Wright scored 27 points to lead Indiana (2-2). The
Hoosiers lost for the first time in three Challenge appearances,
making No. 5 Michigan State -- which hosts No. 6 Duke on Wednesday
night -- the only unbeaten Big Ten team in the 5-year-old event.

With just under eight minutes left to play and Wake Forest
leading 81-44, the crowd began chanting "ACC! ACC!" to recognize
the largest margin of victory in the Challenge. The Deacons' rout
bested Illinois' 92-65 victory over North Carolina last season.

"The kids had a lot of energy, a lot of emotion for this
game," Prosser said. "I think we played enthusiastically."

It started with Paul, who played just as hard defensively.

He drew Bracey as his early defensive assignment and applied
enough pressure to force him into four turnovers while shooting
2-for-5 for the half with eight points.

Paul finished 7-for-9 from the field, 2-for-2 from 3-point range
and had eight assists. In four games, Paul has 21 assists, 14
steals and four turnovers.

"I think Chris Paul, he may be the best point guard we've
played against since I've been at Indiana," coach Mike Davis said.
"You can't get a good gauge on him watching him on tape, but you
come out and it's impossible to pick him up full-court.

"He was, like, fantastic. It was like watching poetry in
motion."

Even Wright, who scored the bulk of his points in the second
half when Taron Downey shifted over to guard him, had high praise
for Paul.

"I enjoyed watching him play and I told him that," Wright
said. "He's really crafty with the ball."

The Hoosiers were without senior center George Leach, a native
of nearby Charlotte, who missed the game with a knee injury. It
cleared the way for freshman Pat Ewing Jr. to make his first career
start.

The son of former NBA star Patrick Ewing with eight points and
nine rebounds.