Wake Downs Hokies 58-55

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on January 7, 2012
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Virginia Tech struggled offensively in their first ACC game, falling to Wake Forest 58-55 in Winston-Salem on Saturday. The Hokies are 11-4 and 0-1 in the ACC, while the Demon Deacons are 10-5 with a 1-0 mark in league play.

Wake Forest opened the game in a zone, and the Hokies couldn’t solve it. The Demon Deacons jumped out to a 20-8 lead, and although Tech came back to take the lead late, they gave up two critical three-pointers down the stretch that doomed them. Robert Brown’s three-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out, and Wake held on.

Erick Green finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists in 37 minutes, and he was 9-of-18 from the field. Jarell Eddie got in foul trouble and played just 18 minutes, and was ineffective defensively. He also had four of Tech’s ten turnovers, but he did add 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range.

A week after scoring 18 points at Oklahoma State, Dorenzo Hudson had a poor game against Wake Forest. Playing with a partial tear of his meniscus, Hudson was a step slow on defense and offense, and to make things worse, his shot selection was questionable throughout the game. He scored just eight points, went 4-of-13 from the field and missed all five of his three-pointers.

Victor Davila had a good game for the Hokies, scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds while playing good post defense. For the first time in quite awhile he was effective while his backup, Cadarian Raines, was not. Raines didn’t score, and had just two rebounds off the bench.

Dorian Finney-Smith appears to have hit a wall offensively. He didn’t score in the game, and though he had seven rebounds and two steals in 33 minutes, on the offensive end of the court it was 5-on-4 for most of the day. With Eddie in foul trouble and Dorenzo Hudson struggling, there was no one else to play major minutes at small forward.

Tech didn’t start the game well defensively, but got things turned around late in the first half and shut the Deacons down until the closing seconds of the game. Former Tech recruiting target C.J. Harris burned the Hokies with two three-pointers in the final 1:05, including the game-winner with 18 seconds left.

Instead of fighting through the screen on the last shot by Harris, Erick Green went under the screen, and no one stepped out on the shooter, leaving Harris wide open. He has connected on more than 50% of his three-pointers this season, so it was a critical error by Virginia Tech.

Tech will look to make things right in their ACC home opener against Florida State on Tuesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm, and the game will be televised by ESPNU.

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