Wake Forest missed a point blank put back as time expired, and the Hokies held on to beat the Demon Deacons 66-65 in Cassell Coliseum on Saturday. Tech improved to 11-6 overall and 2-2 in the ACC with the win. Wake Forest dropped to 9-8 and 2-3 in league play.
Erick Green had a huge second half, and went off for 22 points in the game, which is normal. However, it was two other guys that hit a couple of huge shots down the stretch in this game.
Marquis Rankin scored his only basket of the game on a floater in the lane with 45 seconds left to put the Hokies up 64-62. However, Wake Forest answered that shot with a three-pointer from Travis McKie to retake the lead. This time it was Robert Brown’s turn. Brown, who was 1-of-10 from the field up to that point, curled off the right wing with Erick Green being double teamed, received the pass from Green, and hit a runner in the paint with 12 seconds left that would eventually be the game-winner.
Brown has been struggling recently, but he’s been big in clutch situations. Last week at Georgia Tech, he missed every shot he took in regulation, but came up with two big baskets in the overtime period.
“He’s got a short term memory,” head coach James Johnson joked following the game.
Virginia Tech trailed 37-31 at halftime, and allowed 15 Wake Forest offensive rebounds in the first half. However, after halftime adjustments, Wake only had two offensive rebounds in the second half.
Jarell Eddie scored 18 points and had nine rebounds for the Hokies. Cadarian Raines had a big game, scoring eight points and grabbing a career-high 13 rebounds, while blocking four shots and dishing out three assists. Overall, it was possibly his best game of the season.
This was the type of game that’s tough to lose for any coach, and Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik was very disappointed following the game.
“Very hard fought game, by both teams,” Bzdelik said. “They just had one more point than we did. We got exactly what we wanted at the end. We had two shots at the rim. You’re either a good coach or a bad coach depending on whether or not the ball goes in.”
Virginia Tech has another winnable game coming up this week. They host UVA on Thursday night at 8pm. The game will be televised by The ACC Network.