Virginia Tech Beats Wake Forest 81-80

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Jalen Hudson exploded for a career-high 32 points, the most scored by a Virginia Tech player this season, and scored the game-winning basket to lead the Hokies over Wake Forest, 81-80, in the opening round of the ACC Tournament.

Hudson scored his 32 points in 29 minutes, going 10-of-18 from the field (2-3 on three-pointers) and a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line. He also tied for the team lead in rebounds with five, but his most important play of the day came with 11.7 seconds left, when he knifed into the lane off an inbounds play and scored a lay-in to put the Hokies up 81-80.

Wake answered with a drive down the lane by Codi Miller-McIntyre (23 points), who was met by Hudson and Devin Wilson about eight feet from the basket. Miller-McIntyre lost control of the ball, and it went out of bounds with 6.1 seconds left. The original ruling was out of bounds on Virginia Tech, but the referees reviewed the video to be sure.

Replays showed the ball caroming out of bounds off Miller-McIntyre (all three TV announcers said definitively that the call was going to be overturned, and the ball was going to be awarded to Virginia Tech after the review), but the officials failed to overturn the call, and gave the ball to the Demon Deacons under their own basket.

Wake inbounded the ball to Dinos Mitoglou, who missed a 15-foot baseline jumper with 4 seconds left. Wake’s Devin Thomas caught the rebound and missed the point-blank putback. Miller-McIntyre tipped it again, but his shot missed as well, and Shane Henry snared the rebound for Tech as the buzzer sounded.

The wild finish was symbolic of the back-and-forth game, which was often played at a frantic pace. The Hokies broke open a close game late in the first half, ending the half on a 13-2 run to take a 41-31 half time lead. Tech shot 51.5% in the first half (4-10 from three-point range) and outrebounded Wake Forest 18-17. By contrast, Wake shot just 37.5%, hitting just 3-of-13 from three-point range.

The Hokies had a chance to blow the game open early in the second half, but Virginia Tech missed nine of their first 11 shots after the break, including four three-pointers. Tech only scored eight points in the first six minutes of the second half, and the Deacs finally tied it at 49 after a three-pointer by Miller-McIntyre with 13:46 to go.

The next ten-plus minutes were back and forth, and with 1:03 left, Hudson hit two free throws to put the Hokies up 79-74. But Wake sandwiched two three-pointers around an offensive foul by Hudson, including a bomb from Mitoglou that put Wake up 80-79 with 25 seconds left, setting the stage for Hudson’s game-winner and Wake’s final dramatic possession.

The keys to the Hokies’ win were free throw shooting and turnovers. Fueled by Hudson’s 10-of-10 mark from the line, the Hokies shot 13-of-14 on free throws, to Wake’s 13-of-17.

The Demon Deacons only turned the ball over ten times, but the Hokies beat that with a season-low four turnovers, and Tech outscored Wake 16-8 in points off turnovers. That made up for a 36-28 rebounding deficiency for the Hokies, including 12-8 on the offensive glass.

Led by Hudson’s 32 points, the Hokie bench outscored Wake’s bench 51-23.

Many other statistics were effectively even:

  • Field goals: VT 48.4% (30-62), Wake 46.0% (29-63)
  • 3-pointers: VT 8-19, Wake 9-24
  • Free throws: VT 13-14, Wake 13-17
  • 2nd chance points: Wake 17, VT 13

Tech’s only other double-figure scorer was Ahmed Hill with 12. Justin Bibbs scored nine, making four of his last six shots. Tech was led in rebounding by Hudson and Christian Beyer, both with five.

Wake Forest’s leading scorers were Miller-McIntyre (23) and Devin Thomas (22). Thomas paced Wake with nine rebounds, but his final missed putback was his only offensive board of the day.

The Hokies will play #6 seed Miami in the final game Wednesday night, starting at approximately 9:30 PM. Miami beat Tech twice this year, 76-52 in Coral Gables and 82-61 in Blacksburg. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and the ACC Network.

Box score (


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10 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. A foul by Wake on Hudson’s final cutting layup could have been easily called, but refs admit to letting play happen at the end of close games. So that’s how I rationalize the no foul call on VT on Wake’s final posssession. But the out of bounds snafu just felt by VT carma getting ready to happen again. Thankfully, it did not.

  2. Will, you might need to edit the line stats. I know Wake has been in the ACC a long time, but 13-7 in Free Throws is a bilt crazy. (TIC)

  3. Watching Buzz Williams at the games and just reading about how he operates on and off the court, it is very evident that he possesses high energy, deep passion and great intensity for the game of BB, his players and life in general. He reminds me of a boss that I once worked with who had all of these attributes, so much so that we would jokingly refer to him has being able to commit murder as an act of passion. Sometimes I get the feeling that Buzz is much like that, in a positive manner of course, and that if anyone can change the BB culture at Tech and turn things around, it will be him.

  4. Please explain how THREE ACC officials on the biggest conference national stage miss and later admit (clandestinely) the end of game out of bounds call after watching it on video (and giving Wake a nice timeout,us too)? Those 3 missed Wake shots were the basketball gods dispensing needed justice at last! Great win for young men and coaches who wouldn’t quit! Beat the Hurricanes!

      1. Even if they DID say it, that isn’t the question. The real question is HOW the hell did they miss it? I am no basketball guru (an understatement), but I understand the basics. THAT was basketball 101 Ball out of bounds off of player, ball goes to other team…….and they even had a freaking replay to stand around and calmly watch.

        Even to my decidedly untrained eye there are only 2 POSSIBLE answers… conspiracy or incompetence. I don’t know which, but there is NO third possibility.Thankfully for the Hokies it ended with WF throwing up bricks. It is nice to get a win in an ACC Tournament! Good job!

    1. agree it makes no sense – they review the it and see the play over and over and make the same call only to say later they made the wrong call? hmmmm…ok.

      1. The ONLY theory I have that isn’t blatantly “they wanted Wake to win” is that the officials looked at the replay and said to themselves,

        “you know….we probably should have called a foul on VT there. Look at the contact. But it DID go out off of Wake. But we did call it Wake ball initially. If we just let it stand, it offsets us missing the foul call”

        I usually don’t buy into theories of the refs truly being against us, but if the paragraph above WASN’T their thought process….then I’ll say it….they were against us at the end.

        1. The Officials aren’t supposed to do that either. And watching the replay, are you thinking Hudson fouled Miller-McIntyre? I watched it several times and if he did hit something besides ball and fingers it was for one hundredth of a second and just a grazing. Thomas stayed put with hands vertical until contacted by Miller-McIntyre, so if there was any foul between those two, it should have been on Miller-McIntyre. Although, I thought it was clearly off of Miller-McIntyre, the NCAA needs to amend the rule, so the coaches can’t talk to their teams during reviews unless they call for a timeout. If there were 4 minutes left, Wake would have just inbounded the ball with no review and no free timeout. Either way, Go Hokies!!! Beat Miami!!

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