WINSTON-SALEM — Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik expects his team to have an off-night once in a while.
That it came Tuesday night against Nebraska was a surprise for the Deacons third-year coach.
Wake Forest couldnt slow the Cornhuskers second-half shooting barrage, losing 79-63 in an ACC-Big Ten Challenge game.
Ray Gallegos scored 17 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes for Nebraska (5-1), which shot better than 62 percent in the half and led by as many as 24 points.
Andre Almeida had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Dylan Talley 14 and Brandon Ubel 11 for the Cornhuskers, who also avenged a 55-53 loss to the Deacons last year in Lincoln, Neb.
That was as well as weve moved the ball and cut, in a half, said Nebraska coach Tim Miles. Wake Forest was unfortunate that they caught us on a hot night, and we were fortunate that we were hot.
While the Deacons shot 42.9 percent (24 of 56) for the game, they managed just 32.1 percent from the field in the first half, hit a season-low 3 of 16 3-pointers and were held to just one field goal in a key eight-minute stretch in the second half.
Wake Forest also turned the ball over 13 times and was outrebounded by the Cornhuskers 36-30.
Give credit to Nebraskas defense, but we missed shots and didnt finish around the rim. That really defused our defensive energy and really frustrated us, Bzdelik said.
Thats stuff weve talked about we cant get frustrated when the balls not going in, and lose our minds defensively. But we let the game get away from us.
Freshmen Madison Jones had 14 points and Codi Miller-McIntyre added 11 for the Deacons (3-3), who saw their two leading scorers both struggle in snapping a two-game winning streak.
Guard C.J. Harris, Wake Forests scoring leader at 15.8 points per game, was held to just 2 points, while forward Travis McKie (second at 15.6 points per game) had 8 points.
Thats tough, it really is, Bzdelik said. When they take out your two leading scorers, it puts a lot of pressure on everybody else.
Ahead 28-24 at the half, Gallegos hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 13-7 run that gave the Cornhuskers their first double-digit lead, with his layup putting them up 47-37 with 13:19 left.
Wake Forest would then hit just two field goals over the next 7 1/2 minutes, allowing Nebraska to lead by 24 points twice, the last at 68-44 on Almeidas layup with 5:09 left.
The Deacons would make a late run, cutting the Cornhuskers lead to 13 points with 2:18 left on Jones free throw.