Another slow start to a game and another ACC opening loss. The Hokies trailed early and for most of the game as they fell to 1-7 in ACC openers, 55-58, to wake forest in Winston Salem.
Tech fell behind early and trailed by as many as 13 in the first half, despite committing just one turnover. But it was the rebounding and poor shooting that killed the Hokies. The deacons out-rebounded Tech 42-31 for the game.
Both teams shot about the same from the field – VT was 23/58 for 39.7%; wake was 20/52 for 38.7% – but wake shot and made more threes and free throws. wake as 8/18 from three and 10/13 from the charity stripe. Meanwhile, the Hokies were just 6/22 from behind the arc and only 3/6 from the free throw line.
Erick Green led the way for Tech in the loss, scoring a game-high 19 points. Jarrell Eddie was the only other Tech player in double-digit scoring with 12. Dorenzo Hudson and Victor Davila each had 8 points; Robert Brown dropped in 6 and Marquis Rankin added 2. That was it. Only six VT players scored. CJ Barksdale, Cadarian Raines and Dorian Finney-Smith all got goose eggs.
The Hokies fell behind early, but fought back to cut the first-half deficit to three, before wake pulled ahead to take a 32-24 lead at the half.
Tech twice tied the game in the second half and even took a brief lead, 53-52, with 1:20 left in the game, but wake’s C.J. Harris drilled a three to retake the lead :15 later. Green answered quickly a jumper at the other end to tie the game at 55, but again, Harris was clutch for the demon deacons, drilling a critical three-pointer with just 18 seconds to play.
The Hokies called a timeout and inbounded the ball a mid-court and nearly had it stolen. wake put the pressure on Tech and the Hokies couldn’t get a good shot off to tie the game. The deacons got the last rebound, the Hokies fouled, wake missed the free throw and time ran out.
On the one hand, it’s hard to be disappointed with a loss like this because Tech relies heavily on young players who were playing their first road game in the ACC. And this game was pretty intense for a first conference game. Both teams were taking this game seriously and Tech played close and didn’t let it get out of hand.
But on the other hand, as Niemo pointed out in his video lowlights, wake was terrible last season at just 1-15 in conference play, so you kinda cringe at a loss like this. This is a bad loss in the eyes of the NCAA selection committee and if Tech can’t play with teams like wake, it doesn’t look good against the top half of the ACC.
SCORES AT EACH MEDIA TIMEOUT:
- Under-16: wake 10-5
- Under-12: wake 20-8
- Under-8: wake 26-15
- Under-4: wake 26-20
HALF: wake 32-24
- Under-16: wake 36-33
- Under-12: wake 40-38
- Under-8: wake 45-40
- Under-4: wake 50-46
FINAL: wake 58, VT 55