I love it when a plan comes together. Friday night, conventional wisdom
dictated that Virginia Tech should try to run Wake Forest ragged, make the Deacs
move up and down the court just 21 hours after their historic double overtime
win over Georgia Tech. The Hokies didn’t back down from the challenge, and as a
result, Tech knocked a big monkey off their backs and got their first-ever ACC
From the get-go, the Hokies showed their strategy, pushing the ball up the
floor, even after made shots. When Deron Washington took a seat on the bench
with his second foul three minutes into the game, and Coleman Collins followed
one minute later, the Hokies didn’t flinch. They kept pushing it and built a
16-6 lead just six minutes in.
For the rest of the half, with reserves like Markus Sailes and Robert
Krabbendam logging major minutes, the Hokies’ offense bogged down, and Wake
closed the gap. Behind strong offensive rebounding and Kyle Visser, Wake cut the
lead to three points, then two, and when the teams went into half time, VT had a
slim 36-34 lead.
That was the bad news. The good news was that VT played most of the half
without Washington and Collins, yet still the Hokies were in it, thanks to A.D.
Vassallo, who showed up ready to play and bombed in 11 first half points.
(Vassallo matched that in the second half and finished with a game-high 22.)
The second half dawned, and Zabian Dowdell picked up two quick fouls,
continuing the first half theme started by Collins and Washington. There was
cause for concern, because the Hokies couldn’t seem to shake the Deacs. Tech
opened up a 47-37 lead, then gave up five straight points. With 13:11 to go,
this one was still close at 47-42.
Over the next ten minutes, the Hokies blew up on Wake. The Deacs started to
look like the tired team everyone thought they would be, and the Hokies took
them by the throat and shook them until they gave up. VT stuck a 22-5 run on
Wake that started with four straight steals followed by layups or dunks.
According to the final box score, Tech only had 12 fast break points, and eight
of them came in a stretch a minute and a half long that changed the game from
51-42 Hokies, to a 59-42 blowout.
It was Virginia Tech at its finest, stealing and breaking away, and it was
the culmination of a game-long effort that saw the Hokies playing with energy
Subscribe to read full story
Tired of low effort articles and clickbait? So are we. Subscribe to read great articles written by a full-time staff with decades of experience.
Already a subscriber? Login Here