Virginia Tech defeated Wake Forest 81-74 on Sunday night, clinching a first round bye in the ACC Tournament as well as a winning record in regular season play for the first time since 2011. The Hokies improved to 16-13 overall and 8-8 in ACC play with the win, while the Demon Deacons dropped to 11-18 and 2-15.
Despite Codi Miller-McIntyre scoring 19 points while shooting 7-of-10 from the field on Senior Night, the Hokies still managed to come away with the victory. For the most part Virginia Tech was in control of the game, though they did go down 6-0 early in the game. Tech led for 27:43, while the Demon Deacons led for 9:43.
Tech beat Wake 93-91 in January on the strength of free throws and turnovers, despite the fact that the Demon Deacons shot 58.9% from the field. Wake shot 49.1% this time around, but they had 19 turnovers (16 in the first meeting), and Tech won the rebounding battle 35-30. Free throw shooting was again kind to Tech. After going 29-of-35 (82.9%) in the first meeting, the Hokies were 24-of-33 (72.7%) on Sunday night.
Justin Bibbs paced Tech with 22 points after previously dropping 32 on Wake Forest in the first meeting. He was 7-of-13 from the field and 3-of-6 from three-point range. Bibbs also added five rebounds. He was one of four Hokies in double figures…
Zach LeDay: 17 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals
Justin Robinson: 15 points
Seth Allen: 14 points, 2 steals
Chris Clarke added six points and six rebounds, and as usual gave the Hokies a ton of energy.
The game was tied on two occasions in the second half, but for the most part Virginia Tech was in control. They took the lead for good on a Justin Bibbs free throw with 14:28 remaining to make the score 45-44. They didn’t exactly dominate Wake Forest, but they did control the pace of the action for the final 20 minutes after holding a 37-36 halftime lead.
With a 16-13 record, Virginia Tech is now guaranteed a winning record during the regular season. One more win would guarantee the Hokies a winning record overall, including the postseason. That hasn’t happened since the 2010-11 season. Tech could still finish right at .500 with two losses to close the regular season and a loss in the ACC tournament.
Tech is also 8-8 in the ACC now, with two home games remaining against Pitt and Miami. The Hokies went 8-46 in the ACC in the previous three seasons. Here are how the records look year by year…
Obviously there has been a ton of improvement in year two of the Buzz Williams era.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Wednesday night when they host Pitt. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm. Unfortunately it’s the only ACC game of the season that will not be televised, but it can be viewed online on ESPN3.